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Lord Bacon has given us his own estimate of the value and j 

position of the Advancement of Learning. “ This writing,” 1 

says he, “ seemeth to me, si nunquam fallit imago , not much | 

better than that noise or sound which musicians make while | 

they are tuning their instruments ; which is nothing pleasant | 

to hear, but yet is a cause why the music is sweeter after- ■ 

wards: so have I been content to tune the instruments of 
the Muses, that they may play that have better hands.” 

Wherein he errs in two opposite ways: for, on the one side, 
the book is nobler than the senseless jargon to which he 
likens it ; while, on the other, the musicians that have taken ; 

up the work have scarcely succeeded in playing harmoni- J 

ously together. He seems not to be aware of the intrinsic i 

worth of the thoughts expressed in every page, while he also ij 

seems to have imagined that a Millennium of Learning was | 

about to begin, to which this book should be, as it were, the | 

herald trumpet. Under so almost divine a sovereign as I 

King James I. learning will surely be fostered and advanced. J 

Controversies in religion, he thinks, are all but worn out 
(and this on the eve of the great Puritan struggles and suc- 
cesses !), and we shall have leisure to leave questions of faith 
for the discovery of the Laws of Nature. And yet, with all 
this, he does not discern the value of mathematics, that 
branch of learning which was then making great advance, 
and was destined to work wonders. He scarcely cared to 
have an opinion on the “ Copemican Theory ” of Astronomy. 

He never mentions his famous countryman Gilbert without 
a sneer, or at least a disparaging remark ; though he was 
engaged on those discoveries in magnetism which have 
tended to enlarge in many ways the empire of man over | 

Nature. He by no means emancipates himself thoroughly j 

from the thraldom of the old scholastic systems. He 
regards Poetry as complete, requiring no farther develop- 
ment: and is not conscious that he is living with those who 
were above all others to be the pride of English Literature, j 




and who should labour in broad fields of Poetry, which had 
never yet been touched by mortal hand. In these and 
other subjects the book is defective enough; yet, remem- 
bering all things, we must marvel at the extraordinary 
breadth of knowledge and reading; the fertility of thought, 
and happiness of expression; the complete arrangement of 
subjects, and lucid order of the work, which show them- 
selves throughout. Nor did Bacon himself fail to see the 
importance of his pioneer-book — otherwise he would not 
have expanded it so fully as he has done in the Latin — 

, translating it into that tongue that it might the more readily 

gain access to all lands, and be read by the learned in every 
place; and carefully expunging all passages which might 
be distasteful abroad, lest the Roman Church should be 
offended with the accidents, and so neglect the essence of 
his writings. 

The frontispiece of the original edition of the Novum 
Organum expresses his feeling respecting the Advancement. 
Between two pillars, the pillars of Hercules, the ship of 
Ij learning sails forth upon a tossed sea, bound for lands as yet j 

unvisited, to bring thence goodly store of new and precious 
merchandise. Behind her lie all those well-known shores 
of knowledge, of which the Advancement gives the map and 
chart. They were, if we may so speak, those Mediterranean 
lands which were the heart of the fourth or Roman Empire 
I — trodden by every foot of learned men: familiar even to 

children in knowledge. But beyond the straits is the great 
outer sea, and continents as yet unknown, to be explored 1 
by painful daring, and destined to increase the wealth of the 
world in a million ways. The old empire should give place 
to the new: just as the Mediterranean ceased to be all- 
important, when once the boldness of Bartholomew Diaz 
had shown an easier pathway to the wealth of India; and 
the inspired dreams of Columbus had been realised by the 
discovery of new continents across the main. 

The Advancement of Learning was, therefore, the first 
work in Bacon’s great series. That series he styled the 
" Instauratio Magna,” and under the first head of “ Parti- 
tions Scientiarum ” he placed this book. It was to be a 
chart of the lands already discovered and known; so as to 
direct the attention of the adventurer without loss of time 
| or labour to those parts which had not yet been explored. 

Then came the Novum Organum ; a " Method ” or instru- 



ment by means of which men should arrive at these novelties 
— the ship, in fact, of his frontispiece, on board of which 
(to use his own motto), — 

Multi pertransibunt, et augebitur scientia. 

After that, the “ Instauratio ” was to be composed of 
successive works, ending with a “ Philosophia secunda,” or 
complete system of knowledge. This, however, he felt 
must be left to posterity. 

Whoever, therefore, desires to acquaint himself with 
Bacon's philosophical works must begin with the Advance- 
ment, referring to the De Augments Scientiarum from time 
to time. Then, having thus become familiar with the style 
of the great thinker, he will be able to go on to that noble 
work, the Novum Organum ; wherein are contained the 
seeds of marvellous wisdom, of knowledge which has grown 
and flourished to this day; and has affected for ever the 
course and fortunes of learning. 

In preparing this edition of the Advancement of Learning 
for the general reader, I have aimed at three things — a 
faithful text, full verification of quotations, and brevity 
and simplicity of notes. 

As to the first of these matters, there was but little diffi- 
culty. The variations in the text are very few, and very 
unimportant. Wherever it was possible, I have followed 
the edition of 1605, leaving myself little scope for conjecture. 

As to the next point, I had the work already done for me, 
to a great extent, both in the edition of Mr. Markby, and in 
the De Augmentis of the great Ellis and Spedding edition. 
I have been able here and there to supply missing references, 
and have carefully verified those already found for me. 

But with respect to notes, it is unnecessary that I say 
more than that their aim is to be as unobtrusive as 
possible, and that I hope they may be useful. 

Lastly, I subjoin a brief analysis of the work. 

Book I. (Preliminary.) Briefly removes the prejudices against 
Learning, with proofs, divine and human, of its dignity. (Corre- 
sponds with De Augmentis , Bk. 1.) 

Book II. (On the main subject.) Commended to kings as nursing 
fathers. (De Augm. ii. prcef.) 

Learning is twofold — Divine and Human. Divine postponed. (De 
Augm. ii.) 

Human Learning is threefold — I. History (which answers to the 


x Bacon 

Memory). II. Poesy (to Imagination ). III. Philosophy (to 

I. History. 

1. Natural. 

(a) Of Creatures. 

(&) Marvels. 

(c) Arts. 

2. Civil. 

(a) Memorials. 

(b) Antiquities. 

(c) Perfect History. 

i. Chronicles. 

a. Ancient, 


ii. Lives. 

iii. Narrations. 

iv. Annals. 

v. Cosmography. 

3. Ecclesiastical. 

(а) Of the Church. 

(б) Of Prophecy. 

( c ) Of Providence. 

4. Literary, or appendices to History. 

II. Poesy. (Herein is no deficiency.) 

1. Narrative. 

2. Representative. 

3. Allusive or Parabolical. 

III. Philosophy. ( De Augm. iii.) 

1. Divine (or Natural Theology, not = Divinity). Discussion 

of the Philosophia Prima. 

2. Natural, 

i. Science. 

(1) Physical (of material and efficient causes). 

(2) Metaphysical (of formal and final causes), and 

under Metaphysical come Mathematics, pure 
and mixed, 

ii. Prudence. 

(1) Experimental. 

(2) Philosophical. 

(3) Magical. 

3. Human. (De Augm. iv.) 

i. Segregate ( i.e . of individual men) of (a) Body and (6) 
Mind, first considered in combination with respect to 
(a) Discovery and (/ 3 ) Impression, and then separately; 



(a) Body. 

(a) Medicine. 

(p) Cosmetic Art. 

{7) Athletics. 

( 5 ) Sensual Arts. 

(b) Mind. 

(a) Its ^Nature (with two Appendices on Divina- 
tion and Fascination). 

(P) Its Functions. (De Augm. v.) 

A. Intellectual, whose Arts are four. 

(i.) Of Invention. 

(a) Of Arts (deficient). 

(р) Of Speech. 

(ii.) Of Judgment, whose Methods are — 

(a) Of Direction (Analytics). 

(b) Of Caution (Elenches). 

(iii.) Of Custody, 

(a) By Writing. 

(b) By Memory. 

(a) Prenotion. 

(p) Emblem. 

(iv.) Of Tradition. (De Augm. vi.) 

(a) Its organ — speech, or writing (grammar). 

(b) Its method (Logic). 

(с) Its illustration (Rhetoric). 

(With appendices.) 

B. Moral. (De Augm. vii.) 

(i.) Of the Nature of Good (omitting the summum 
bonum, as belonging to another life) . 

(1) Private. 

(а) Active. 

(б) Passive. 

(a) Conservative. 

(j 8) Perfective. 

(2) Relative. 

(a) Of man as citizen. 

(b) Of man as social being. 

(ii.) Of Moral Culture. 

ii. Congregate. (De Augm . viii.) 

(a) In Conversation. 

(b) In Negotiation (with rules for self-advancement). 

( c ) In Government (with notes on Laws). 

The following list gives the chief editions of Bacon’s works : - 

Essays 1597 (2nd edition 1598; 3rd edition, 1606; 5th edition, newly 
written, 1625); Advancement of Learning, 1605, 1629, 1633; De Sapientia 
Vetermn, 1609, 1617, 1633^ 1634; The Wisdome of the Ancients done 
mto English by Sir A. G. Rmght, 1619, 1658; (The) New Atlantis, 1660® 
Novum Organum, 1620, 1645; Life of Henry VII., 1622 1620' De 
Augmentis Scientiarum, 1623,. 1635, 1645, expanded from the Advance! 
ment of Learning, translated in Latin under the supervision of Bacon' 
Apopbthegmes, New and Old,. 1624 [B.M. 1625]; Sylva Sylvarunf oub- 
lished after the author’s death by W. Rawley, 1627, 1635. 7 ’ pUb 

Collected Works: Opera omnia quasi extant, ’philosopbica Moralia 
Politics, Histonca 1665 Opera Omnia. Life of Francis Bacon, by Dr 
m!!w 7 ’ Blackboume, 1730. Bacon’s works, with Life 

Mallet s, r74o and 1753. Montagu’s, 17 vols., 1825-26. Works orieinallv 
collected and revised by R. Stephens and J. Locker, published aft® their 

c ea S? ® j° s '> Works, collected and edited bv I 

Spedding, R. L. Ellis and D. D. Heath, 14 vols., 1857—74, y ^ * 

XI 1 


In Conclusion. (De A itgm. ix.) 

Theology — refers to man’s Reason and Will. 
Discussed as to — 

1 . The nature (or manner) of the Revelation. 

(a) Its Limits. 

(b) Its Sufficiency. 

(c) Its Acquisition. 

2. The thing revealed. 
(a) Matter of Belief. 

(a) Faith. 

(/3) Manners. 

(b) Matter of Service, 
(a) Liturgy 
(/?) Government. 



To the King 

There were under the law, excellent King, both daily Sacri- 
fices and free-will offerings; the one proceeding upon 
ordinary Observance, the other upon a devout cheerf ulness : 
in like manner there belongeth to Kings from their servants 
both tribute of duty and presents of affection. In the 
former of these I hope I shall not live to be wanting, accord- 
ing to my most humble duty, and the good pleasure of your 
Majesty’s employments : for the latter, I thought it more 
respective to make choice of some oblation, which might 
rather refer to the propriety and excellency of your indivi- 
dual person, than to the business of your crown and state. 

Wherefore, representing your Majesty many times unto 
my mind, and beholding you, not with the inquisitive eye of 
presumption, to discover that which the Scripture telleth 
me is inscrutable, 1 but with the observant eye of duty and 
admiration ; leaving aside the other parts of your virtue and 
fortune, I have been touched, yea, and possessed with an 
extreme wonder at those your virtues and faculties, which 
the Philosophers call intellectual; the largeness of your 
capacity, the faithfulness of your memory, the swiftness of 
your apprehension, the penetration of your judgment, and 
the facility and order of your elocution : and 1 have often 
thought that of all the persons living that I have known, 
your Majesty were the best instance to make a man of 
Plato’s opinion, 2 that all knowledge is but remembrance, 
and that the mind of man by nature knoweth all things, and 
hath but her own native and original notions 3 (which by 
the strangeness and darkness of this tabernacle of the body 

1 Prov. xxv. 3. 2 Phasdo, i. 72. 

* The edition 1605 has motions, a word which misses the point — 
editions 1629 and 1633 read notions. 



are sequestered) again revived and restored: such a light of 
nature I have observed in your Majesty, and such a readi- 
ness to take flame and blaze from the least occasion pre- 
sented, or the least spark of another’s knowledge delivered. 
And as the Scripture saith of the wisest king, That his heart 
was as the sands of the sea ; 1 which though it be one of the 
largest bodies, yet it consisteth of the smallest and finest 
portions; so hath God given your Majesty a composition of 
understanding admirable, being able to compass and com- 
prehend the greatest matters, and nevertheless to touch and 
apprehend the least; whereas it should seem an impossi- 
bility in nature for the same instrument to make itself fit for 
great and small works. And for your gift of speech, I call 
to mind what Cornelius Tacitus saith of Augustus Caesar : 
Augusta profluens, et quce principem deceret, eloquentia fuit? 
For, if we note it well, speech that is uttered with labour and 
difficulty, or speech that favoureth of the affectation of art 
and precepts, or speech that is framed after the imitation of 
some pattern of eloquence, though never so excellent; all 
this hath somewhat servile, and holding of the subject. 
But your Majesty’s manner of speech is indeed prince-like, 
flowing as from a fountain, and yet streaming and branching 
itself into nature’s order, full of facility and felicity, imita- 
ing none, and inimitable by any. And as in your civil 
estate there appeareth to be an emulation and contention of 
your majesty’s virtue with your fortune ; a virtuous disposi- 
tion with a fortunate regiment; a virtuous expectation 
(when time was) of your greater fortune, with a prosperous 
possession thereof in the due time ; a virtuous observation of 
the laws of marriage, with most blessed and happy fruit of 
marriage; a virtuous and most Christian desire of peace, 
with a fortunate inclination in your neighbour princes there- 
unto: so likewise, in these intellectual matters, there 
seemeth to be no less contention between the excellency of 
your Majesty’s gifts of nature, and the universality and 
perfection 3 of your learning. For I am well assured that 
this which I shall say is no amplification at all, but a positive 
and measured truth; which is, that there hath not been 
since Christ’s time any King or temporal Monarch, which 
has been so learned in all literature and erudition, divine and 

1 1 Kin s s iv - 2 , 9 - . » Tac. Annal. xiii. 3 . 

* Edition 1 605 has profection . 

Advancement of Learning 3 

human. For let a man seriously and diligently revolve and 
peruse the succession of the emperors of Rome; of which 
Caesar the Dictator, who lived some years before Christ, and 
Marcus Antoninus were the best learned; and so descend, 
to the emperors of Graecia, or of the West; and then to the 
lines of France, Spain, England, Scotland, and the rest, and 
he shall find this judgment is truly made. For it seemeth 
much in a King, if, by the compendious extractions of other 
men's wits and labours, he can take hold of any superficial 
ornaments and shows of learning; or if he countenance and 
prefer learning and learned men : but to drink indeed of the 
true fountains of learning, nay, to have such a fountain of 
learning in himself, in a King, and in a King bom, is almost 
a miracle. And the more, because there is met in your 
Majesty a rare conjuction as well of divine and sacred 
literature, as of profane and human; so as your Majesty 
standeth invested of that triplicity, which in great venera- 
tion was ascribed to the ancient Hermes; the power and 
fortune of a king, the knowledge and illumination of a priest, 
and the learning and universality of a philosopher . 1 This 
propriety inherent 2 and individual attribute in your 
Majesty deserveth to be expressed not only in the fame and 
admiration of the present time, nor in the history or tradi- 
of the ages succeeding, but also in some solid work, fixed 
memorial, and immortal monument, bearing a character 
or signature both of the power of a King, and the difference 
and perfection of such a King. 

Therefore I did conclude with myself, that I could not 
make unto your Majesty a better oblation than of some 
Treatise tending to that end, whereof the sum will consist of 
these two parts; the former, concerning the excellency of 
Learning and Knowledge, and the excellency of the merit and 
true glory in the augmentation and propagation thereof: 
the latter, what the particular acts and works are, which 
have been embraced and undertaken for the Advancement 
of Learning; and again, what defects and undervalues I 
find in such particular acts: to the end, that though I can- 
not positively or affirmatively advise your Majesty, or 

1 Marsilius Ficinus, Arg. ad Herm. Trism . — Et philosophus maxi- 
mus, et sacerdos maximus, et rex maximus. 

* Propriety inherent ; the logical ** Proprium quod consequitur 
essentiam rei.” 




propound unto you framed particulars; yet I may excite 
your princely cogitations to visit the excellent treasure of 
your own mind, and thence to extract particulars for this j 
purpose, agreeably to your magnanimity and wisdom. 

In the entrance to the former of these, to clear the way, and 
as it were to make silence, to have the true testimonies 
concerning the dignity of Learning to be better heard, 
without the interruption of tacit objections, I think good to 
deliver it from the discredits and disgraces which it hath 
received; all from ignorance; but ignorance severally 
disguised, appearing sometimes in the zeal and jealousy 
of Divines; sometimes in the severity and arrogancy of 
Politiques; and sometimes in the errors and imperfections 
of learned men themselves. 

i. I hear the former sort say, that Knowledge is of those 
things which are to be accepted of with great limitation and 
caution; that the aspiring to overmuch knowledge was the 
original temptation and sin whereupon ensued the fall of 
man; that Knowledge hath in it somewhat of the serpent, 
and therefore where it entereth into a man it makes him 
swell; Scientia inflat : 1 that Salomon gives a censure, That 
there is no end, of making books , and that much reading is 
weariness of the flesh ; 2 and again in another place, That in 
spacious knowledge there is much contristation , and that he 
that increaseth knowledge increaseth anxiety ; 3 that St. Paul 
gives a caveat, That we be not spoiled through vain philosophy ; 4 
that experience demonstrates how learned men have been 
arch-heretics, how learned times have been inclined to 
atheism, and how the contemplation of second causes 
derogate from our dependence upon God, who is the first 

To discover then the ignorance and error of this opinion, 
and the misunderstanding in the grounds therof, it may well 
appear these men do not observe or consider that it was not 
the pure knowledge of nature and universality, a knowledge 
by the light whereof man did give names unto other crea- 
tures in paradise , 6 as they were brought before him, accord- 

1 i Cor. viii. i. 2 Eccl. xii. 12. * Eccl. i. 18. 

* Col. ii. 8. 8 See Gen. ii. and iii. 

Advancement of Learning 5 

ing unto their proprieties, which gave the occasion to the 
fall : but it was the proud knowledge of good and evil, with 
an intent in man to give law unto himself, and to depend no 
more upon God's commandments, which was the form of 
the temptation. Neither is it any quantity of knowledge, 
how great soever, that can make the mind of man to swell ; 
for nothing can fill, much less extend the soul of man, but 
God and the contemplation of God ; and therefore Salomon, 
speaking of the two principal senses of inquisition, the eye 
and the ear, affirmeth that the eye is never satisfied with 
seeing, nor the ear with hearing ; 1 and if there be no fulness, 
then is the continent greater than the content : so of know- 
ledge itself, and the mind of man, whereto the senses are but 
reporters, he defineth likewise in these words, placed after 
that Kalendar or Ephemerides, which he maketh of the 
diversities of times and seasons for all actions and purposes ; 
and concludeth thus : God hath made all things beautiful , or 
decent , in the true return of their seasons : Also he hath placed 
the world in man's heart , yet cannot man find out the work 
which God worketh from the beginning to the end : 2 declaring 
not obscurely, that God hath framed the mind of man as a 
mirror or glass, capable of the image of the universal world, 
and joyful to receive the impression thereof, as the eye 
joyeth to receive light; and not only delighted in beholding 
the variety of things and vicissitude of times, but raised also 
to find out and discern the ordinances and decrees, which 
throughout all those changes are infallibly observed. And 
although he doth insinuate that the supreme or summary 
law of nature, which he calleth the work which God worketh 
from the beginning to the end , is not possible to be found out 
by man; yet that doth not derogate from the capacity of 
the mind, but may be referred to the impediments, as of 
shortness of life, ill conjunction of labours, ill tradition of 
knowledge over from hand to hand, and many other incon- 
veniences, whereunto the condition of man is subject. For 
that nothing parcel of the world is denied to man's inquiry 
and invention, he doth in another place rule over, when he 
saith, The spirit of man is as the lamp of God , wherewith he 
searcheth the inwardness of all secrets . 3 If then such be the 
capacity and receipt of the mind of man, it is manifest that 
there is no danger at all in the proportion or quantity of 

1 Eccl. i. 8. 2 Eccl. iii. it. * Prov. xx. 27. 

B 7 I 9 



knowledge, how large soever, lest it should make it swell or 
out-compass itself ; no, but it is merely the quality of know- 
ledge, which, be it in quantity more or less, if it be taken 
without the true corrective thereof, hath in it some nature 
of venom or malignity, and some effects of that venom, 
which is ventosity or swelling. This corrective spice, the 
mixture whereof maketh Knowledge so sovereign, is Charity, 
which the Apostle immediately addeth to the former clause : 
for so he saith, Knowledge blowethup , but Chanty buildeth up; 
not unlike unto that which he delivereth in another place : 
If I spake, saith he, with the tongues of men and angels , and 
had not chanty, it were but as a tinkling cymbal ; 3 not but that 
it is an excellent thing to speak with the tongues of men and 
angels, but because, if it be severed from charity, and not 
referred to the good of men and mankind, it hath rather a 
sounding and unworthy glory, than a meriting and substan- 
tial virtue. And as for that censure of Salomon, concerning 
the excess of writing and reading books, and the anxiety of 
spirit which redoundeth from knowledge ; and that admoni- 
tion of St. Paul, That we be not seduced by vain philosophy ; 
let those places be rightly understood, and they do indeed 
excellently set forth the true bounds and limitations, where- 
by human knowledge is confined and circumscribed; and 
yet without any such contracting or coarctation, but that it 
may comprehend all the universal nature of things; for 
these limitations are three : the first, That we do not so place 
our felicity in knowledge, as we forget our mortality : the 
second, That we make application of our knowledge, to give 
ourselves repose and contentment, and not distaste or repining : 
the third, That we do not presume by the contemplation of 
nature to attain to the mysteries of God. For as touching the 
first of these, Salomon doth excellently expound himself in 
another place of the same book, where he saith: 2 1 saw well 
that knowledge recedeth as far from ignorance as light doth 
from darkness ; and that the wise man's eyes keep watch in his 
head, whereas the fool roundeth about in darkness : but withal 
I learned, that the same mortality involveth them both. And 
for the second, certain it is, there is no vexation or anxiety 
of mind which resulteth from knowledge otherwise than 
merely by accident ; for all knowledge and wonder (which is 
the seed of knowledge) is an impression of pleasure in itself: 

1 i Cor. xiii. i. 4 Eccl. ii. 13, 14. 

Advancement of Learning 7 

but when men fall to framing conclusions out of their know- 1 

ledge, applying it to their particular, and ministering to 1 

themselves thereby weak fears or vast desires, there groweth 1 

that carefulness and trouble of mind which is spoken of : for 
then knowledge is no more Lumen siccum , whereof Hera- 
clitus the profound 1 said, Lumen siccum optima anima ; but J 

it becometh Lumen madidum, or maceratum, being steeped 
and infused in the humours of the affections. 2 And as for 
the third point, it deserveth to be a little stood upon, and I 

not to be lightly passed over: for if any man shall think by j 

view and inquiry into these sensible and material things to 1 

attain that light, whereby he may reveal unto himself the 1 

Nature or Will of God, then indeed is he spoiled by vain | 

philosophy: for the contemplation of God's creatures and 
works produceth (having regard to the works and creatures 
themselves) knowledge, but having regard to God, no 
perfect knowledge, but wonder, which is broken knowledge. 

And therefore it was most aptly said by one of Plato's 
school, 3 That the sense of man carrieth a resemblance with the 
sun , which , as we see , openeth and revealeth all the terrestrial 
globe ; but then again it obscureth and concealeth the stars and 
celestial globe : so doth the sense discover natural things , but it 
darkeneth and shutteth up divine. And hence it is true that 
it hath proceeded, that divers great learned men have been 
heretical, whilst they have sought to fly up to the secrets of 
the Deity by the waxen wings of the senses. And as for the 
j conceit that too much knowledge should incline a man to 
Atheism, 4 and that the ignorance of second causes should 
make a more devout dependence upon God, which is the 
first cause; first, it is good to ask the question which Job 
asked of his friends : Will you lie for God , as one man will do 
j for another , to gratify him ? 5 For certain it is that God 

1 6 <XK0T€tv6s. 

Mtj raxte 'UpatcXelrov 4ir ofupaXbv elXeo (SLjSXov • 

| Tou *<pe<rlov (x6Xa rot. 86<r^aros aTpairirds' 

j "0 p<pvr) Kal cncdros iarlv aX&fMTrerov, ae pLdarris 

j lUicray&yxi, (pavepov Xaixirporep' rjeXiov. 

I Diog. Laerfc. ix. 

| a Atiyrj %7}pT) \pvxh <ro<po)TaT7i. A corruption of atiy ipvxh <xo(f>o)rdrrj. 

j (See note in Eilis and Spedding’s edition.) The phrase occurs in 
Stobaeus, cf. Ritter, Hist. Philos, vol. i. Heraclitus. 

\ * Philo Jud. de Somn. 

.j 4 See Bacon's Essays — On Atheism. 

‘Job xiii. 7. 

8 Bacon 

worketh nothing in nature but hy second causes: and if 
they would have it otherwise believed, it is mere imposture, 
as it were in favour towards God,* and nothing else but to 
offer to the Author of Truth the unclean sacrifice of a lie. 
But farther, it is an assured truth, and a conclusion of 
experience, that a little or superficial knowledge of Philo- 
sophy may incline the mind of man to Atheism, but . a 
farther proceeding therein doth bring the mind back again 
to Religion: for in the entrance of Philosophy, when the 
second causes, which are next unto the senses, do offer them- 
selves to the mind of man, if it dwell and stay there it may 
induce some oblivion of the highest cause ; but when a man 
passeth on farther, and seeth the dependence of causes, and 
the works of Providence ; then, according to the allegory of 
the poets, he will easily believe that the highest link of 
nature's chain must needs be tied to the foot of Jupiter's 
chair. 1 To conclude therefore, let no man upon a weak 
conceit of sobriety or an ill-applied moderation think or 
maintain, that a man can search too far, or be too well 
studied in the book of God's word, or in the book of God's 
works; divinity or philosophy : but rather let men endeav- 
our an endless progress or proficience in both; only let men 
beware that they apply both to charity, and not to swelling; 
to use, and not to ostentation; and again, that they do not 
unwisely mingle or confound these learnings together. 

2. And as for the disgraces which Learning receiveth from 
Politiques, they be of this nature ; that Learning doth soften 
men's minds, andmakes them more unapt for. the honour and 
exercise of arms; that it doth mar and pervert men's dispo- 
sitions for matter of government and policy, in making 
them too curious and irresolute by variety of reading, or too 
peremptory or positive by strictness of rules and axioms, 
or too immoderate and overweening by reason of the great- 
ness of examples, or too incompatible and differing from the 
times by reason of the dissimilitude of examples; or at 
least, that it doth divert men's travails from action and 
business, and bringeth them to a love of leisure and private- 
ness; and that it doth bring into states a relaxation of 
discipline, whilst every man is more ready to argue than 
to obey and execute. Out of this conceit, Cato, 2 sumamed 
the Censor, one of the wisest men indeed that ever lived, 
1 Horn. IL viii. 19. 2 See Pliny, Nat . Hist. vii. 31. 

Advancement of Learning 9 

when Cameades the philosopher came in embassage to 
Rome, and that the young men of Rome began to flock 
about him, being allured with the sweetness and majesty 
of his eloquence and learning, gave counsel in open senate 
that they should give him his dispatch with all speed, lest 
he should infect and enchant the minds and affections of 
the youth, and at unawares bring in an alteration of the 
manners and customs of the state . 1 Out of the same con- 
ceit or humour did Virgil, turning his pen to the advantage 
of his country, and the disadvantage of his own profession, 
make a kind of separation between policy and government, 
and between arts and sciences, in the verses so much 
renowned, attributing and challenging the one to the 
Romans and leaving and yielding the other to the Grecians : 

Tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento, 

Hse tibi erunt artes, etc. 2 

So likewise we see that Anytus, the accuser of Socrates, laid 
it as an article of charge and accusation against him, that 
he did, with the variety and power of his discourses and 
disputations, withdraw young men from due reverence to 
the laws and customs of their country, and that he did 
profess a dangerous and pernicious science, which was, to 
make the worse matter seem the better, and to suppress 
truth by force of eloquence and speech . 3 

(1.) But these, and the like imputations, have rather a 
countenance of gravity than any ground of justice: for 
experience doth warrant, that both in persons and in times, 
there hath been a meeting and concurrence in Learning 
and Arms, flourishing and excelling in the same men and the 
same ages. For, as for men, there cannot be a better nor 
the like instance, as of that pair, Alexander the Great and 
Julius Caesar the Dictator; whereof the one was Aristotle's 
scholar in philosophy, and the other was Cicero's rival in 
eloquence: or if any man had rather call for scholars that 
were great generals, than generals that were great scholars, 
let him take Epaminondas the Theban, or Xenophon the 
Athenian; whereof the one was the first that abated the 
power of Sparta, and the other was the first that made way 
to the overthrow of the monarchy of Persia. And this con- 

1 Plut. vit. Cat. 2 Virg. Mn. vi. 851. 

3 Plato, Apol. Soc. i. 19, 24. 

x o Bacon 

currence is yet more visible in times than in persons, by how 
much an age is a greater object than a man. For both in 
Egypt, Assyria, Persia, Grsecia, and Rome, the same times 
that are most renowned for arms, are likewise most ad- 
mired for learning, so that the greatest authors and philo- 
sophers, and the greatest captains and governors have lived 
in the same ages. Neither can it otherwise be: for as in 
man the ripeness of strength of the body and mind cometh 
much about an age, save that the strength of the body 
cometh the more early : 1 so in states Arms and Learning, 
whereof the one correspondeth to the body, the other to the 
soul of man, have a concurrence or near sequence in times. 

(2.) And for matter of Policy and Government, that 
learning should rather hurt, than enable thereunto, is a 
thing very improbable : we see it is accounted an^ error to 
commit a natural body to empiric physicians, which com- 
monly have a few pleasing receipts whereupon they are 
confident and adventurous, but know neither the causes 
of diseases, nor the complexions of patients, nor peril of 
accidents, nor the true method of cures: we see it is a like 
error to rely upon advocates or lawyers, which are only 
men of practice and not grounded in their books, who are 
many times easily surprised when matter falleth out besides 
their experience, to the prejudice of the causes they handle: 
so by like reason it cannot be but a matter of doubtful 
consequence if states be managed by empiric Statesmen, 
not well mingled with men grounded in learning. But 
contrariwise, it is almost without instance contradictory 
that ever any government was disastrous that was in the 
hands of learned governors . 2 For howsoever it hath been 
ordinary with politic men to extenuate and disable learned 
men by the names of Pedantes ; yet in the records of time it 
appeareth, in many particulars, that the governments of 
princes in minority (notwithstanding the infinite disadvan- 
tage of that kind of state) have nevertheless excelled the 
government of princes of mature age, even for that reason 
which they seek to traduce, which is, that by that occasion 
the state hath been in the hands of Pedantes ; for so was the 
state of Rome for the first five years, which are so much 

1 Cf. Aristotle, Rhet. ii. 14, 4, where he says that the body reaches 
perfection at the age of 35 (7x5), and the mind at 49 (7x7). 

4 See Plato, Rep. v. 473. 

Advancement of Learning 1 1 

magnified, during the minority of Nero, in the hands of 
Seneca, a Pedanti ; so it was again, for ten years' space or 
more, during the minority of Gordianus the younger, with 
great applause and contentation in the hands of Mistheus, 
a Pedanti : so was it before that, in the minority of Alex- 
ander Severus, in like happiness, in hands not much unlike, 
by reason of the rale of the women, who were aided by 
the teachers and preceptors. Nay, let a man look into the 
government of the bishops of Rome, as, by name, into the 
government of Pius Quintus, and Sextus Quintus, in our 
times, who were both at their entrance esteemed but as 
pedantical 1 friars, and he shall find that such popes do 
greater things, and proceed upon truer principles of estate, 
than those which have ascended to the papacy from an 
education and breeding in affairs of estate and courts of 
princes; for although men bred in learning are perhaps to 
seek in points of convenience* and accommodating for the 
present, which the Italians call Ragioni di stato , whereof 
the same Pius Quintus could not hear spoken with patience, 
terming them inventions against religion and the moral 
virtues ; yet on the other side, to recompense that, they are 
perfect in those same plain grounds of religion, just ce, 
honour, and moral virtue, which if they be well and watch- 
fully pursued, there will be seldom use of those other, no 
more than of physic in a sound or well dieted body. Neither 
can the experience of one man's life furnish examples and 
precedents for the events of one man’s life: for, as it hap- 
peneth sometimes that the grandchild, or other descend- 
ants, resembleth the ancestor more than the son ; so many 
times occurrences of present times may sort better with 
ancient examples than with those of the latter or immedia- 
ate times; and lastly, the wit of one man can no more 
countervail learning than one man's means can hold way 
with a common purse. 

3. And as for those particular seducements, or indisposi- 
tions of the mind for policy and government, which Learning 
is pretended to insinuate; if it be granted that any such 
thing be, it must be remembered withal, that Learning 
ministereth in every of them greater strength of medicine 
or remedy than it offereth cause of indisposition or infirmity. 

1 Edition 1605, prejudicial . The Latin has “ f rater culis rerum 
imperitis .” 



For if by a secret operation it make men perplexed and 
irresolute, on the other side by plain precept it teacheth 
them when and upon what ground to resolve; yea, and 
how to carry things in suspense without prejudice, till 
they resolve; if it make men positive and regular, it 
teacheth them what things are in their nature demonstra- 
tive, and what are conjectural, and as well the use of 
distinctions and exceptions, as the latitude of principles 
and rules. If it mislead by disproportion or dissimili- 
tude of examples, it teacheth men the force of circum- 
stances, the errors of comparisons, and all the cautions 
of application; so that in all these it doth rectify more 
effectually than it can pervert. And these medicines it 
conveyeth into men's minds much more forcibly by the 
quickness and penetration of examples. For let a man 
look into the errors of Clement the seventh, so lively de- 
scribed by Guicciardine, 1 who served under him, or into the 
errors of Cicero, painted out by his own pencil in his Epistles 
to Atticus, and he will fly apace from being irresolute. Let 
him look into the errors of Phocion, and he will beware how 
he be obstinate or inflexible. Let him but read the fable of 
Ixion, 2 and it will hold him from being vaporous or imagina- 
tive. Let him look into the errors of Cato the second, and 
he will never be one of the Antipodes , to tread opposite to 
the present world. 3 

4. And for the conceit that Learning should dispose men 
to leisure and privateness, and make men slothful ; it were 
a strange thing if that which accustometh the mind to a 
perpetual motion and agitation should induce slothfulness; 
whereas contrariwise it may be truly affirmed, that no kind 
of men love business for itself but those that are learned; 
for other persons love it for profit, as a hireling, that loves 
the work for the wages ; or for honour, as because it beareth 
them up in the eyes of men, and refresheth their reputation, 
which otherwise would wear; or because it putteth them 
in mind of their fortune, and giveth them occasion to 
pleasure and displeasure; or because it exerciseth some 
faculty wherein they take pride, and so entertaineth them 
in good humour and pleasing conceits towards themselves; 
or because it advanceth any other their ends. So that, as 

1 Guicciard. xvi. 5. 2 Pind. Pyth. ii. 21, seq. 

2 Cic. ad Att, ii. 1. 

Advancement of Learning 1 3 j 

it is said of untrue valours, that some men’s valours are in 
the eyes of them that look on ; so such men’s industries are j 

in the eyes of others, or at least in regard of their own 
designments: only learned men love business as an action 
according to nature, as agreeable to health of mind as 9 

exercise is to health of body, taking pleasure in the action 9 

itself, and not in the purchase : for that of all men they are 1 

the most indefatigable, if it be towards any business which j 

can hold or detain their mind. 1 

And if any man be laborious in reading and study and yet i 

idle in business and action, it groweth from some weakness 9 

of body or softness of spirit ; such as Seneca speaketh of : I 

Quidam tam sunt umbratiles , ut puterit in turbido esse quicquid 1 

in luce est ; 1 and not of Learning : well may it be that such | 

a point of a man’s nature may make him give himself to 
Learning, but it is not learning that breedeth any such point I 

in his nature. 1 

5. And that Learning should take up too much time or I 

leisure; I answer, the most active or busy man that hath I 

been or can be, hath, no question, many vacant times of | 

leisure, while he expecteth the times and returns of busi- 
ness (except he be either tedious and of no dispatch, or 
lightly and unworthily ambitious to meddle in things that 1 

may be better done by others:) and then the question is, j 

but how these spaces and times of leisure shall be filled f 

and spent; whether in pleasures or in studies; as was well 
answered by Demosthenes to his adversary iEschines, that 1 

was a man given to pleasure, and told him, That his orations J 

did smell of the lamp : Indeed (said Demosthenes) there is a j 

great difference between the things that you and I do by lamp - 1 

light } So as no man need doubt that learning will expulse | 

business, but rather it will keep and defend the possession j 

of the mind against idleness and pleasure, which otherwise 

at unawares may enter to the prejudice of both. 

6. Again, for that other conceit that Learning should 

undermine the reverence of laws and government, it is \ 

assuredly a mere depravation and calumny, without all | 

shadow of truth. For to say that a blind custom of obedi- 

1 Seneca, Epist. 3, quoted from Pomponius, “ Quidam adeo in 

latebras refugerunt, ut ” etc. I 

2 Plutarch. Libanius, Vit. Demosth. (Edition Dindorf, p. 6.) 1 

Told of Pytheas, not of ^Eschines. | 



ence should be a surer obligation than duty taught and 
understood, it is to affirm, that a blind man may tread surer 
by a guide than a seeing man can by a light. And it is 
without all controversy, that learning doth make the minds 
of men gentle, generous, maniable, 1 and pliant to govern- 
ment ; whereas ignorance makes them churlish, thwart, and 
mutinous: and the evidence of time doth clear this asser- 
tion, considering that the most barbarous, rude, and un- 
learned times have been most subject to tumults, seditions, 
and changes. 

7. And as to the judgment of Cato the Censor, he was 
well punished for his blasphemy against Learning, in the 
same kind wherein he offended; for when he was past 
threescore years old, he was taken with an extreme desire to 
go to school again, and to learn the Greek tongue, to the end 
to peruse the Greek authors; which doth well demonstrate 
that his former censure of the Grecian learning was rather an 
affected gravity, than according to the inward sense of his 
own opinion. And as for Virgil's verses, though it pleased 
him to brave the world in taking to the Romans the art of 
empire, and leaving to others the art of subjects; yet so 
much is manifest that the Romans never ascended to that 
height of empire, till the time they had ascended to the height 
of other arts. For in the time of the two first Caesars, 
which had the art of government in greatest perfection, 
there lived the best poet, Virgilius Maro ; the best historio- 
grapher, Titus Livius; the best antiquary, Marcus Varro; 
and the best, or second orator, Marcus Cicero, that to the 
memory of man are known. As for the accusation of 
Socrates, the time must be remembered when it was prose- 
cuted ; which was under the Thirty Tyrants, the most base, 
bloody, and envious persons that have governed; ’which 
revolution of state was no sooner over, but Socrates, whom 
they had made a person criminal, was made a person hero- 
ical, and his memory accumulate with honours divine and 
human ; and those discourses of his which were then termed 
corrupting of manners, were after acknowledged for sove- 
reign medicines of the mind and manners, and so have been 
received ever since till this day. Let this, therefore, serve 

1 The edition of 1605 reads amiable, that of 1633 maniable. The 
latter word answers best to the Latin, artes — teneros reddunt, 
sequaces, cereos. 

Advancement of Learning 1 5 

for answer to Politiques, which in their humorous severity, 
or in their feigned gravity, have presumed to throw imputa- 
tions upon Learning ; which redargution nevertheless (save 
that we know not whether our labours may extend to other 
ages) were not needful for the present, in regard of the love 
and reverence towards Learning, which the example and 
countenance of two so learned Princes, Queen Elizabeth, 
and your Majesty, being as Castor and Pollux, Lucida sideraf 
stars of excellent light and most benign influence, hath 
wrought in all men of place and authority in our nation. 

HI. Now therefore we come to that third sort of discredit 
or diminution of credit that groweth unto Learning from 
learned men themselves, which commonly cleaveth fastest : 
it is either from their fortune; or from their manners; or 
from the nature of their studies. For the first, it is not in 
their power; and the second is accidental; the third only 
is proper to be handled. But because we are not in hand 
with true measure, but with popular estimation and conceit, 
it is not amiss to speak somewhat of the two former. The 
derogations therefore which grow to Learning from the 
fortune or condition of learned men, are either in respect of 
scarcity of means, or in respect of privateness of life and 
meanness of employments. 

1. (a) Concerning want, and that it is the case of learned 
men usually to begin with little, and not to grow rich so fast 
as other men by reason they convert not their labours 
chiefly to lucre and increase : it were good to leave the com- 
mon place in commendation of poverty to some friar to 
handle, to whom much was attributed by Machiavel in this 
point; when he said, That the kingdom of the clergy had been 
long before at an end , if the reputation and reverence towards 
the poverty of friars had not borne out the scandal of the super- 
fluities and excesses of bishops and prelates . 1 2 So a man 
might say that the felicity and delicacy of princes and great 
persons had long since turned to rudeness and barbarism, if 
the poverty of Learning had not kept up civility and honour 
of life : but without any such advantages, it is worthy the 
observation what a reverend and honoured thing poverty 
was for some ages in the Roman state, which nevertheless 

1 Hor. Cavm. iii. 2. 

a Mach. Disc . sopra Tita . Liv. iii. L, speaking of the Franciscan 
and Dominican orders. 


was a state without paradoxes. For we see what Titus 
Livius saith in his introduction: C alarum aut me amor 
negotii suscepti fallit, aut nulla unquam respublica nec major, 
nec sanctior , nec bonis exemplis ditior fuit ; nec in quam lam 
sera avaritia luxuriaque immigraverint / nec ubi tantus ac 
tam diu paupertati ac parsimonia bonus fuerit . 1 We see 
likewise, after that the state of Rome was not itself, but did 
degenerate, how that person that took upon him to be coun- 
sellor to Julius Caesar after his victory where to begin his 
restoration of the state, maketh it of all points the most 
summary to take away the estimation of wealth: Verum 
hac, et omnia mala pariter cum honore pecunia desinent ; si 
neque magistratus , neque alia vulgo cupienda, venalia erunt. 2 
To conclude this point, as it was truly said, that Rubor est- 
virtutis color , though sometime it come from vice ; 3 so it may 
be fitly said that Paupertas est virtutis fortuna , though some- 
time it may proceed from misgovernment and accident. 
Surely Salomon hath pronounced it both in censure, Qui 
festinat ad divitias non erit insons ; 4 and in precept, Buy the 
truth , , and sell it not / and so of wisdom and knowledge / 5 
judging that means were to be spent upon Learning, and 
not Learning to be applied to means. 

(/3) And as for the privateness, or obscureness (as it may 
be in vulgar estimation accounted) of life of contemplative 
men; it is a theme so common to extol a private life, not 
taxed with sensuality and sloth, in comparison [with] and 
to the disadvantage of a civil life, for safety, liberty, plea- 
sure, and dignity, or at least freedom from indignity, as no 
man handleth it but handleth it well; such a consonancy 
it hath to men’s conceits in the expressing, and to men’s 
consents in the allowing. This only I will add, that learned 
men forgotten in states and not living in the eyes of men, are 
like the images of Cassius and Brutus in the funeral of Junia: 
of which not being represented, as many others were, 
Tacitus saith, Eo ipso prafulgebant, quod non visebantur . 6 

(y) And for meanness of employment, that which is most 
traduced to contempt is that the government of youth is 
commonly allotted to them; which age, because it is the 
age of least authority, it is transferred to the disesteeming 

1 Livii Prcef. 2 Epist. i. ad C. Cats, de Rep . ord. 

3 Diog. Cyn. ap . Lcert . vi. 54. 4 Prov. xxviii. 22. 

e Prov. xxiii. 23. 8 Tac. Ann. Hi. 76, ad fin . 

Advancement of Learning 17 

of those employments wherein youth is conversant, and 
which are conversant about youth. But how unjust this 
traducement is (if you will reduce things from popularity 
of opinion to measure of reason) may appear in that we see 
men are more curious what they put into a new vessel than 
into a vessel seasoned; and what mould they lay about a 
young plant than about a plant corroborate; so as the 
weakest terms and times of all things use to have the 
best applications and helps. And will you hearken to the 
Hebrew rabbins? Your young men shall see visions, and 
your old men shall dream dreams ; 1 say they 2 youth is the 
worthier age, for that visions are nearer apparitions of God 
than dreams. And let it be noted, that howsoever the 
condition 3 of life of Pedantes hath been scorned upon 
theatres, as the ape of tyranny; and that the modem loose- 
ness or negligence hath taken no due regard to the choice 
of schoolmasters and tutors; yet the ancient wisdom of the 
best times did always make a just complaint, that states 
were too busy with their laws and too negligent in point of 
education : which excellent part of ancient discipline hath 
been in some sort revived of late times by the colleges of the 
Jesuits; of whom, although in regard of their superstition I 
may say, Quo meliores , eo deteriores / yet in regard of this, 
and some other points concerning human learning and 
moral matters, I may say, as Agesilaus said to his enemy 
Pharnabazus, Talis quum sis , utinam noster esses* And 
thus much touching the discredits drawn from the fortunes 
of learned men. 

2. As touching the manners of learned men, it is a thing 
personal and individual: and no doubt there be amongst 
them, as in other professions, of all temperatures : but yet so 
as it is not without truth, which is said, that Abeunt studia 
in mores? studies have an influence and operation upon the 
manners of those that are conversant in them. 

(«) But upon an attentive and indifferent review, I for 
my part cannot find any disgrace to Learning can proceed 

. 1 Joel ii, 28. ■ :/■??'; 

2 Edition 1629 and 1633 read “ say the.” 

3 Edition 1605 reads " conditions ... hath,” 1633 reads ” con- 
ditions 1 .. . . have.” 

4 Conference of Agesilaus and Pharnabazus. Plut. Vit. Ages. 

. 5 Ovid, Ep. xv. 83. 



was a state without paradoxes. For we see what Titus 
Livius saith in his introduction: Caterum aut me amor 
negotii suscepti fallit, aut nulla unquam respullica nec major , 
nec sanctior, nec bonis exemplis ditior fuit ; nec in quam tam 
sera avaritia luxuriaque immigraverint ; nec ubi tantus ac 
tam diu paupertati ac parsimonia bonus fuerit. 1 We see 
likewise, after that the state of Rome was not itself, but did 
degenerate, how that person that took upon him to be coun- 
sellor to Julius Csesar after his victory where to begin his 
restoration of the state, maketh it of all points the most 
summary to take away the estimation of wealth: Verum 
hac, et omnia mala pariter cum honor e pecunice desinent ; si 
neque magistratus , neque alia vulgo cupienda , venalia erunt , 2 
To conclude this point, as it was truly said, that Ruborest - 
virtutis color , though sometime it come from vice ; 3 so it may 
be fitly said that Paupertas est virtutis for tuna, though some- 
time it may proceed from misgovemment and accident. 
Surely Salomon hath pronounced it both in censure, Qui 
festinat ad divitias non erit insons ; 4 and in precept. Buy the 
truth, and sell it not ; and so of wisdom and knowledge ; 5 
judging that means were to be spent upon Learning, and 
not Learning to be applied to means. 

(fi) And as for the privateness, or obscureness (as it may 
be in vulgar estimation accounted) of life of contemplative 
men ; it is a theme so common to extol a private life, not 
taxed with sensuality and sloth, in comparison [with] and 
to the disadvantage of a civil life, for safety, liberty, plea- 
sure, and dignity, or at least freedom from indignity, as no 
man handleth it but handleth it well; such a consonancy 
it hath to men’s conceits in the expressing, and to men’s 
consents in the allowing. This only I will add, that learned 
men forgotten in states and not living in the eyes of men, are 
like the images of Cassius and Brutus in the funeral of Junia: 
of which not being represented, as many others were, 
Tacitus saith, Eo ipso prafulgebant, quod non visebantur. e 

(y) And for meanness of employment, that which is most 
traduced to contempt is that the government of youth is 
commonly allotted to them; which age, because it is the 
age of least authority, it is transferred to the disesteeming 

1 Livii Prcef, 2 Epist. L ad c c ^ d$ ^ 

Diog. Cyn. ap. heart, vi. 54. 4 Prov. xxviii. 22. 

5 Prov. xxiii. 23. 6 Tac. Ann . iii. 76, ad fin. 

Advancement of Learning 17 j 

of those employments wherein youth is conversant, and j 

which are conversant about youth. But how unjust this j 

traducement is (if you will reduce things from popularity j 

of opinion to measure of reason) may appear in that we see 
men are more curious what they put into a new vessel than 
into a vessel seasoned; and what mould they lay about a 
young plant than about a plant corroborate; so as the 
weakest terms and times of all things use to have the 
best applications and helps. And will you hearken to the | 

Hebrew rabbins? Your young men shall see visions , and 
your old men shall dream dreams ; 1 say they 2 youth is the 
worthier age, for that visions are nearer apparitions of God 
than dreams. And let it be noted, that howsoever the j 

condition 3 4 of life of Pedantes hath been scorned upon j 

theatres, as the ape of tyranny; and that the modern loose- I 

ness or negligence hath taken no due regard to the choice 1 

of schoolmasters and tutors ; yet the ancient wisdom of the 
best times did always make a just complaint, that states I 

were too busy with their laws and too negligent in point of j 

education : which excellent part of ancient discipline hath 
been in some sort revived of late times by the colleges of the j 

Jesuits ; of whom, although in regard of their superstition I 
may say, Quo meliores, eo deter iores ; yet in regard of this, j 

and some other points concerning human learning and 
moral matters, I may say, as Agesilaus said to his enemy ! 

Pharnabazus, Talis quum sis, utinam noster esses* And ! 

thus much touching the discredits drawn from the fortunes ; 

of learned men. : 

2 . As touching the manners of learned men, it is a thing j | 

personal and individual; and no doubt there be amongst . 

them, as in other professions, of all temperatures : but yet so j | 

as it is not without truth, which is said, that Abeunt studia ! 

in mores? studies have an influence and operation upon the ji 

manners of those that are conversant in them. j' 

(a) But upon an attentive and indifferent review, I for j] 

my part cannot find any disgrace to Learning can proceed )] 

1 Joel ii. 28. 

2 Edition 1629 and 1633 read “ say the/ ' || 

3 Edition 1605 reads “conditions . . . hath,” 1633 reads “con* j 

ditions . . . have.” ■ '■ jj 

4 Conference of Agesilaus and Pharnabazus. Plut. Vit. Ages. J 

8 Ovid, Ep. xv. 83. ,jj 



from the manners of learned men not inherent 1 to them as 
they are learned; except it be a fault (which was the sup- 
posed fault of Demosthenes, Cicero, Cato the second, Seneca, 
and many more) that, because the times they read of are 
commonly better than the times they live in, and the duties 
taught better than the duties practised, they contend some- 
times too far to bring things to perfection, and to reduce the 
corruption of manners to honesty of precepts, or examples 
of too great height. And yet hereof they have caveats 
enough in their own walks. For Solon, when he was asked 
whether he had given his citizens the best laws, answered 
wisely, Yea of such as they would receive : 2 and Plato, finding 
that his own heart could not agree with the corrupt manners 
of his country, refused to bear place or office, saying, That 
a man's country was to be used as his parents were , that is, 
with humble persuasions, and not with contestations . 3 And 
Caesar’s counsellor put in the same caveat, Non ad vetera 
instituta revocans quce jampridem corruptis moribus ludibrio 
sunt ; 4 and Cicero noteth this error directly in Cato the 
second, when he writes to his friend Atticus; Cato optime 
sentit, sed nocet inter dum reipublicce ; loquitur enim tanquam 
in reipublica Platonis , non tanquam in fcece Romuli A And 
the same Cicero doth excuse and expound the philosophers 
for going too far, and being too exact in their prescripts, 
when he saith, Isti ipsi prceceptores virtutis et magistri , viden- 
tur fines ojficiorum paulo longius quam natura vellet fir otulisse, 
ui cum ad ultimum animo contendissemus, ibi tamen, ubi 
oportet, consisteremus : 6 and yet himself might have said, 
Monitis sum minor ipse meis; 1 for it was his own fault, 
though not in so extreme a degree. 

(ft) Another fault likewise much of this kind hath been 
incident to learned men ; which is, that they have esteemed 
the preservation, good, and honour of their countries or 
masters before their own fortunes or safeties. For so saith 
Demosthenes unto the Athenians; If it please you to note it, 
my counsels unto you are not such whereby I should grow great 

1 De A ugm. has nullum occurrit dedecus Uteris ex litter atorum 
moribus, quatenus, sunt literati, adhcerens, which explains it. The 
not before inherent goes with cannot according to the rule of double 
negative, as it prevailed in early English writers. 

2 Plutarch, ViL Solon. z Plato, Epist. Z. iii. 331. 

4 Sail. Epist. de Rep. ord. 6 Cic. ad Att. ii. t. 

• Cic. pro Mur. xxxi. 65. 7 Ovid, A. Am. ii. 548. 

Advancement of Learning 1 9 

amongst you, and you become little amongst the Grecians : but 
they he of that nature, as they are sometimes not good for me to 
give, hut are always good for you to follow. 1 2 And so Seneca, 
after he had consecrated that Quinquennium Neronis 2 to 
the eternal glory of learned governors, held on his honest 
and loyal course of good and free counsel, after his master 
grew extremely corrupt in his government. Neither can 
this point otherwise be; for Learning endueth men’s minds 
with a true sense of the frailty of their persons, the casualty 
of their fortunes, and the dignity of their soul and vocation : 
so that it is impossible for them to esteem that any greatness 
of their own fortune can be a true or worthy end of their 
being and ordainment ; and therefore are desirous to give 
their account to God, and so likewise to their masters under 
God (as kings and states that they serve) in these words ; 

Ecce tihi lucrefeci, and not Ecce; mihi lucrefeci ; 3 whereas, 
the corrupter sort of mere Politiques, that have not their j 

thoughts established by learning in the love and apprehen- 
sion of duty, nor never look abroad into universality, do 
refer all things to themselves, and thrust themselves into the 
centre of the world, as if all lines should meet in them and 
their fortunes; never caring in all tempests what becomes 
of the ship of estates, so they may save themselves in the 
cockboat of their own fortune: whereas men that feel the 
weight of duty and know the limits of self love, use to make 
good their places and duties, though with peril ; and if they 
stand in seditious and violent alterations, it is rather the 
reverence which many times both adverse parts do give to 
honesty, than any versatile advantage of their own carriage. 

But for this point of tender sense and fast obligation of duty 
which learning doth endue the mind withal, howsoever 
fortune may tax it, and many in the depth of their corrupt 
principles may despise it, yet it will receive an open allow- 
ance, and therefore needs the less disproof or excusation. 

(y) Another fault incident commonly to learned men, 
which may be more properly defended than truly denied, is, 
that they fail sometimes in applying themselves to particu- 
lar persons: which want of exact application ariseth from 

1 Demosth. Chers. 187, ad fnem . 

2 The Quinquennium Neronis refers to the first five years of 
Nero’s reign, during which he was under Seneca’s influence. 

3 Matt. xxv. 20. 



two causes; the one, because the largeness of their mind 
can hardly confine itself to dwell in the exquisite observa- 
tion or examination of the nature and customs of one person : 
for it is a speech for a lover, and not for a wise man : Satis 
magnum alter alteri theatrum sumus. 1 Nevertheless I shall 1 
yield, that he that cannot contract the sight of his mind as ! 
well as disperse and dilate it, wanteth a great faculty. But 
there is a second cause, which is no inablity, but a rejection f 
upon choice and judgment. For the honest and just bounds 
of observation by one person upon another, extend no 
farther but to understand him sufficiently, whereby not to j 
give him offence, or whereby to be able to give him faithful 
counsel, or whereby to stand upon reasonable guard and 
caution in respect of a man’s self. But to be speculative 
into another man to the end to know how to work him, or 
wind him, or govern him, proceedeth from a heart that is 
double and cloven and not entire and ingenuous; which as 
in friendship it is want of integrity, so towards princes or 
superiors is want of duty. For the custom of the Levant, 
which is that subjects do forbear to gaze or fix their eyes 
upon princes , 2 is in the outward ceremony barbarous, but 
the moral is good: for men ought not by cunning and bent 
observations to pierce and penetrate into the hearts of kings 
which the scripture hath declared to be inscrutable . 3 

(S) There is yet another fault (with which I will conclude 
this part) which is often noted in learned men, that they do 
many times fail to observe decency and discretion in their 
behaviour and carriage, and commit errors in small and [ 
ordinary points of action so as the vulgar sort of capacities j 

do make a judgment of them. in greater matters by that j 

which they find wanting in them in smaller. But this 
consequence doth often deceive men, for which I do refer - 
them over to that which was said by Themistocles, arro- 
gantly and uncivilly being applied to himself out of his own , 
mouth, but, being applied to the general state of this ques- 
tion, pertinently and justly when, being invited to touch a j 
lute, he said, He could not fiddle , but he could make a small 
town a great state* So, no doubt, many may be well seen in 
the passages of government and policy, which are to seek in : 

1 A saying of Epicurus. Seneca, Epist. Mor. i. 7. 

2 Herod. I. 99. * Prov. xxv. 3. 

* Plutarch, Vit. Themist., ad init. 1 

Advancement of Learning 2 1 

little and punctual occasions. I refer them also to that 
which Plato said of his master Socrates, whom he compared 
to the gallipots of apothecaries, which on the outside had 
apes and owls and antiques, but contained within sovereign 
and precious liquors and confections; acknowledging that 
to an external report he was not without superficial levities 
and deformities, but was inwaidly replenished with excel- 
lent virtues and powers . 1 2 And so much touching the point 
of manners of learned men. 

But in the mean time I have no purpose to give allowance 
to some conditions and courses base and unworthy wherein 
divers professors of learning have wronged themselves and 
gone too far; such as were those trencher philosophers 
which in the later age of the Roman state were usually in 
the houses of great persons, being little better than solemn 
parasites; of which kind Lucian maketh a merry descrip- 
tion of the philosopher that the great lady took to ride with 
her in her coach, and would needs have him carry her little 
dog, which he doing officiously and yet uncomely, the page 
scoffed and said, Thai he doubted , the philosopher of a Stoic 
would turn to be a Cynic} But above all the rest, the gross 
and palpable flattery, whereunto many not unlearned have 
abased and abused their wits and pens, turning, as Du 
Bartas saith , 3 Hecuba into Helena, and Faustina into 
Lucretia, hath most diminished the price and estimation of 
learning. Neither is the moral 4 dedication of books and 
writings, as to patrons, to be commended : for that books, 
such as are worthy the name of books, ought to have no 
patrons but truth and reason. And the ancient custom 
was to dedicate them only to private and equal friends, or 
to entitle the books with their names: or if to kings and 
great persons, it was to some such as the argument of the 
book was fit and proper for: but these and the like courses 
may deserve rather reprehension than defence. 

Not that I can tax or condemn the morigeration or appli- 

1 Plat. Conv. iii. 215, where the thought is present, though the 
exact similitude is wanting. 

2 Lucian, de Merc. Cond . 33, 34. 

3 See Bethulian’s Rescue , bk. v. ; 

“ Tous ces esprits dont la voix fiattereuse 
Change Hecube en Helene, et Faustine en Lucr&ce/ 

4 Moral , here customary. 

C 7*9 ' ■■■■■' V ' -'v 



cation of learned men to men in fortune. For the answer 
was good that Diogenes made to one that asked him in 
mockery, How it came to pass that philosophers were the fol- 
lowers of rich men, and not rich men of philosophers ? He 
answered soberly, and yet sharply, Because the one sort knew 
what they had need of, and the other did not 1 And of the like 
nature was the answer which Aristippus made, when having 
a petition to Dionysius, and no ear given to him, he fell 
down at his feet ; whereupon Dionysius staid, and gave him 
the hearing, and granted it; and afterward some person, 
tender on the behalf of philosophy, reproved Aristippus that 
he would offer the profession of philosophy such an indignity 
as for a private suit to fall at a tyrant's feet: but he 
answered, It was not his fault, but it was the fault of Dionysius 
that had his ears in his feet. 2 Neither was it accounted 
weakness, but discretion in him that would not dispute his 
best with Adrianus Csesar; ‘excusing himself, That it was 
reason to yield to him that commanded thirty legions? These 
and the like applications, and stooping to points of neces- 
sity and convenience, cannot be disallowed; for though 
they may have some outward baseness, yet in a judgment 
truly made they are to be accounted submissions to the 
occasion, and not to the person. 

3. Now I proceed to those errors and vanities which have 
intervened amongst the studies themselves of the learned, 
which is that which is principal and proper to the present 
argument; wherein my purpose is not to make a justifica- 
tion of the errors, but by a censure and separation of the 
errors to make a justification of that which is good and 
sound, and to deliver that from the aspersion of the other. 
For we see that it is the manner of men to scandalize and 
deprave that which retaineth the state 4 and virtue, by 
taking advantage upon that which is corrupt and degener- 
ate : as the heathens in the primitive church used to 
blemish and taint the Christians with the faults and 
corruptions of heretics. But nevertheless I have no 

1 Diog. Laert. Vit. Aristippi, ii. 69; the answer was given by 
Aristippus. 2 Ibid. ii. 79. 

3 Spartianus, Vit. Adriani, § 15. The excuse was made by 

* Had Bacon been accustomed to use the then modern word its, 
it is probable he would have used it here. As it is " the state and 
virtue ’* must mean its pure and right condition. 

Advancement of Learning 23 

meaning at this time to make any exact animadversion 
of the errors and impediments in matters of learning, which 
are more secret and remote from vulgar opinion, but only 
to speak unto such as do fail under or near unto a popular 

There be therefore chiefly three vanities in studies, 
whereby learning hath been most traduced. For those 
things we do esteem vain, which are either false or frivolous, 
those which either have no truth or no use: and those 
persons we esteem vain, which are either credulous or 
curious ; and curiosity is either in matter or words : so that 
in reason, as well as in experience, there fall out to be these 
three distempers, as I may term them, of learning : the first, 
fantastical learning; the second, contentious learning ; and 
the last, delicate learning; vain imaginations, vain alterca- 
tions, and vain affectations; and with the last I will begin, 
(a) Martin Luther, conducted no doubt by a higher provi- 
dence, but in discourse of reason 1 finding what a province 
he had undertaken against the bishop of Rome and the 
degenerate traditions of the church, and finding his own 
solitude, being no ways aided by the opinions of his own 
time, was enforced to awake all antiquity, and to call 
former times to his succours to make a party against the 
present time. So that the ancient authors, both in divinity 
and in humanity, which had long time slept in libraries, 
began generally to be read and revolved. Thus by conse- 
quence did draw on a necessity of a more exquisite travail 
in the languages original, wherein those authors did write, 
for the better understanding of those authors, and the 
better advantage of pressing and applying their words. 
And thereof grew again a delight in their manner of style 
and phrase, and an admiration of that kind of writing; 
which was much furthered and precipitated by the enmity 
and opposition that the propounders of those primitive but 
seeming new opinions had against the schoolmen; who were 
generally of the contrary part, and whose writings were 
altogether in a different style and form; taking liberty to 
coin and frame new terms of art to express their own sense, 
and to avoid circuit of speech, without regard to the pure- 
ness, pleasantness, and, as I may call it, lawfulness of the 

1 Discourse of reason ; a proper logical term. Cf. Sanderson, A rs 
Log. iii. i. 


phrase or word. And again, because the great labour that 1 
then was with the people (of whom the Pharisees were wont 
to say, Execrablis ista turbo , :, qua non novit legem) 2 for the 
winning and persuading of them, there grew of necessity in 
chief price and request eloquence and variety of discourse, 
as the fittest and forciblest access into the capacity of 
the vulgar sort: so that these four causes concurring, the 
admiration of ancient authors, the hate of the schoolmen, 
the exact study of languages, and the efficacy of preaching, 
did bring in an affectionate study of eloquence and copie of 
speech, which then began to flourish. This grew speedily 
to an excess; for men began to hunt more after words than 
matter; more after the choiceness of the phrase, and the 
round and clean composition of the sentence, and the sweet 
falling of the clauses, and the varying and illustration of 
their works with tropes and figures, than after the weight 
of matter, worth of subject, soundness of argument, life of 
invention or depth of judgment. Then grew the flowing 
and watery vein of Osorius 3 the Portugal bishop, to be in 
price. Then did Sturmius spend such infinite and curious 
pains upon Cicero the Orator, and Hermogenes the Rhetori- 
cian, besides his own books of Periods and Imitation, and 
the like. Then did Car of Cambridge, and Ascham with 
their lectures and writings almost deify Cicero and Demos- 
thenes, and allure all young men that were studious, unto 
that delicate and polished kind of learning. Then did 
Erasmus take occasion to make the scoffing Echo: Decern 
annos consumpsi in legendo Cicerone ; andthe Echo answered 
in Greek, *0v€, Asine . 4 Then grew the learning of the 
schoolmen to be utterly despised as barbarous. In sum, 
the whole inclination and bent of those times was rather 
towards copie than weight. 

Here, therefore, is the first distemper of learning, when 
men study words and not matter; whereof, though I have 
represented an example of late times, yet it hath been and 
will be secundum majus et minus in all time. And how is 
it possible but this should have an operation to discredit 
learning, even with vulgar capacities, when they see learned 
men's works like the first letter of a patent, or limned book ; 

1 Editions 1629 and 1633 omit that ; but because her ^because of . 

a John vii. 10. 3 Bishop of Silves, died 1580. 

4 Colloq . between Juvenis and Echo. 


Advancement of Learning 25 

which though it hath large flourishes, yet is but a letter? 

It seems to me that Pygmalion’s frenzy is a good emblem 
or portraiture of this vanity : 1 for words are but the images 
of matter; and except they have life of reason and inven- 
tion, to fall in love with them is all one as to fall in love 
with a picture. 

But yet notwithstanding it is a thing not hastily to be 
condemned, to clothe and adorn the obscurity even of Philo- 
sophy itself with sensible and plausible elocution. For 
hereof we have great examples in Xenophon, Cicero, Seneca, 
Plutarch, and of Plato also in some degree; and hereof like- 
wise there is great use : for surely, to the severe inquisition 
of truth and the deep progress into philosophy, it is some 
hindrance; because it is too early satisfactory to the mind 
of man, and quencheth the desire of further search, before 
we come to a just period. But then if a man be to have any 
use of such knowledge in civil occasions, of conference, 
counsel, persuasion, discourse, or the like; then shall he 
find it prepared to his hands in those authors which write in 
that manner. But the excess of this is so justly contemp- 
tible that as Hercules, when he saw the image of Adonis, 

Venus’ minion, in a temple, said in disdain, Nil sacri es ; 2 
50 there is none of Hercules’ followers in learning, that is, 
the more severe and laborious sort of inquirers into truth, 
but will despise those delicacies and affectations, as indeed 
capable of no divineness. And thus much of the first 
disease or distemper of learning. 

(/?) The second which followeth is in nature worse than 
the former : for as substance of matter is better than beauty 
of words, so contrariwise vain matter is worse than vain 
words: wherein it seemeth the reprehension of St. Paul was 
not only proper for those times, but prophetical for the 
times following; and not only respective to divinity, but 
extensive to all knowledge ; Devita prof anas vocum novitates, 
et oppositions falsi nominis sciential . 3 For he assigneth two 
marks and badges of suspected and falsified science: the j 
one, the novelty and strangeness of terms; the other, the 
strictness of positions, which of necessity doth induce oppo- 
sitions, and so questions and altercations. Surely, like as 

1 Ovid, Met am. x. 243. 1 

2 Theocr. v. 2 (schol.) or Erasmi A dag. 

* 1 Tim. vi. 20. i 



many substances in nature which are solid do putrify and 
corrupt into worms ; so it is the property of good and sound 
knowledge to putrify and dissolve into a number of subtle, 
idle, unwholesome, and, as I may term them, vermiculate 
questions, which have indeed a kind of quickness and life of 
spirit, but no soundness of matter or goodness of quality. 
This kind of degenerate learning did chiefly reign amongst 
the Schoolmen : 1 who having sharp and strong wits, and 
abundance of leisure, and small variety of reading, but their 
wits being shut up in the cells of a few authors (chiefly 
Aristotle their dictator) as their persons were shut up in the 
cells of monasteries and colleges, and knowing little history, 
either of nature or time, did out of no great quantity of 
matter and infinite agitation of wit spin out unto those 
laborious webs of learning which are extant in their books . 2 
For the wit and mind of man, if it work upon matter, which 
is the contemplation of the creatures of God, worketh 
according to the stuff, and is limited thereby; but if it work 
upon itself, as the spider worketh his web, then it is endless, 
and brings forth indeed cobwebs of learning, admirable for 
the fineness of thread and work, but of no substance or 

This same unprofitable subtility or curiosity is of two 
sorts; either in the subject itself that they handle, when 
it is a fruitless speculation or controversy, (whereof there 
are no small number both in Divinity and Philosophy,) or in 
the manner or method of handling of a knowledge, which 
amongst them was this; upon every particular position 
or assertion to frame objections, and to those objections, 
solutions ; which solutions were for the most part not con- 
futations but distinctions : whereas indeed the strength of 
all sciences is, as the strength of the old man's fagot, in the 
band. For the harmony of a science, supporting each part 
the other, is and ought to be the true and brief confutation 
and suppression of all the smaller sort of objections. But, 
on the other side, if you take out every axiom, as the 
sticks of the fagot, one by one, you may quarrel with them, 
and bend them, and break them at your pleasure : so that, 
as was said of Seneca, Verborum minutiis rerum frangit 

1 For his judgment — a harsh one — on the Schoolmen, see the 
Nov. Org. i. 71. 

2 See Hallam, Hist, of Lit. vol. i. init. § 18-23. 

Advancement of Learning 27 

pondera ; 1 so a man may truly say of the schoolmen, Qucbs- 
tionum minutiis scientiarum frangunt soliditatem. For were 
it not better for a man in a fair room to set up one great 
light or branching candlestick of lights, than to go about 
with a small watch candle into every corner? 

And such is their method, that rests not so much upon 
evidence of truth proved by arguments, authorities, 
similitudes, examples, as upon particular confutations and 
solutions of every scruple, cavilation, and objection; 
breeding for the most part one question as fast as it solveth 
another ; even as in the former resemblance, when you carry 
the light into one corner, you darken the rest ; so that the 
fable and fiction of Scylla seemeth to be a lively image of 
this kind of philosophy or knowledge; which was trans- 
formed into a comely virgin for the upper parts; but then 

Candida succinctam la — trantibus inguina monstris: 2 

so the generalities of the schoolmen are for a while good 
and proportionable; but then, when you descend into their 
distinctions and decisions, instead of a fruitful womb for 
the use and benefit of man’s life, they end in monstrous 
altercations and barking questions. So as it is not possible 
but this quality of knowledge must fall under popular 
contempt, the people being apt to contemn truth upon 
occasion of controversies and altercations, and to think they 
are all out of their way which never meet ; and when they 
see such digladiation about subtilties, and matters of no use 
or moment, they easily fall upon that judgment of Diony- 
sius of Syracuse, Verba ista sunt senum otiosorum 2 

Notwithstanding, certain it is that if those Schoolmen 
to their great thirst of truth and unwearied travail of wit 
had joined variety and universality of reading and con- 
templation, they had proved excellent lights, to the great 
advancement of all learning and knowledge: but as they 
are, they are great undertakers indeed, and fierce with dark 
keeping: but as in the inquiry of the divine truth, their 
pride inclined to leave the oracle of God’s word, and to 
vanish in the mixture of their own inventions; so in the 
inquisition of nature, they ever left the oracle of God’s works, 

1 Rerum pondera minutissimis sententiis fregit. — Quint, de Inst . 

Orat. x. i. 

2 Virg. Eel. vi. 75. 3 Diog. Laert. iii. 18 ( Vit . Platonis). 



and adored the deceiving and deformed images which the 
unequal mirror of their own minds, or a few received 
authors or principles did represent unto them. And thus 
much for the second disease of learning. 

(7) For the third vice or disease of learning, which con- 
cerneth deceit or untruth, it is of all the rest the foulest ; as 
that which doth destroy the essential form of knowledge, 
which is nothing but a representation of truth: for the 
truth of being and the truth of knowing are one, differing 
no more than the direct beam and the beam reflected. 
This vice therefore brancheth itself into two sorts; de- 
light in deceiving, and aptness to be deceived; imposture 
and credulity; which, although they appear to be of a 
diverse nature, the one seeming to proceed of cunning and 
the other of simplicity, yet certainly they do for the most 
part concur: for, as the verse noteth, 

Percontatorem fugito, nam garrulus idem est, 1 
an inquisitive man is a prattler; so, upon the like reason 
a credulous man is a deceiver: as we see it in fame, that he 
that will easily believe rumours, will as easily augment 
rumours, and add somewhat to them of his own; which 
Tacitus wisely noteth, when he saith, Fingunt simul credunt- 
que : 2 so great an affinity hath fiction and belief. 

This facility of credit and accepting or admitting things 
weakly authorised or warranted, is of two kinds according 
to the subject : for it is either a belief of history (as 3 the 
lawyers speak, matter of fact) ; or else of matter of art and 
opinion. As to the former, we see the experience and in- 
convenience of this error in ecclesiastical history; which 
hath too easily received and registered reports and nar- 
rations of miracles wrought by martyrs, hermits, or 
monks of the desert, and other holy meq, and their relics, 
shrines, chapels, and images: which though they had a 
passage for a time by the ignorance of the people, the super- 
stitious simplicity of some, and the politic toleration of 
others holding them but as divine poesies; yet after a period 
of time, when the mist began to clear up, they grew to be 
esteemed but as old wives’ fables, impostures of the clergy, 
illusions of spirits, and badges of Antichrist, to the great 
scandal and detriment of religion. 

1 Hor. Ep. I. xviii. 69. 3 Tac. Hist. i. 51. 

* r have here followed the reading of edition 1605. 

Advancement of Learning 29 

So in natural history, we see there hath not been that 
choice and judgment used as ought to have been; as may 
appear in the writings of Plinius, Cardanus , 1 Albertus , 2 and 
divers of the Arabians, being fraught with much fabulous 
matter, a great part not only untried, but notoriously un- 
true, to the great derogation of the credit of natural philo- 
sophy with the grave and sober kind of wits : wherein the 
wisdom and integrity of Aristotle is worthy to be observed; 
that, having made so diligent and exquisite a history of 
living creatures, hath mingled it sparingly with any vain or 
feigned matter: and yet on the other sake , 3 hath ca£t all 
prodigious narrations, which he thought worthy the record- 
ing, into one book : 4 excellently discerning that matter of 
manifest truth (such whereupon observation and rule were 
to be built), was not to be mingled or weakened with matter 
of doubtful credit ; and yet again, that rarities and reports 
that seem incredible are not to be suppressed or denied to 
the memory of men. 

And as for the facility of credit which is yielded to arts 
and opinions, it is likewise of two kinds; either when too 
much belief is attributed to the arts themselves, or to 
certain authors in any art. The sciences themselves, 
which have had better intelligence and confederacy with 
the imagination of man than with his reason, are three in 
number ; astrology, natural magic, and alchemy : of which 
sciences, nevertheless, the ends or pretences are noble. For 
astrology pretendeth to discover that correspondence or 
concatenation which is between the superior globe and the j 

inferior : natural magic pretendeth to call and reduce natural j 

philosophy from variety of speculations to the magnitude of 
works: and alchemy pretendeth to make separation of all 
the unlike parts of bodies which in mixtures of nature are 
incorporate. But the derivations and prosecutions to these 
ends, both in the theories and in the practices, are full of j 

error and vanity; which the great professors themselves 

Cardan — born in Pavia, 1501 — wrote about 122 works on 
Physics, Mathematics, Astronomy, Astrology, Medicine, Ethics, 

Music, etc. 

2 Albertus Magnus — bom in Swabia, about 1198 — the most 
learned man of his age. 

3 So in all the early editions; side has been suggested. 

* 0 av/mao-LG, ’ AKoijorfiara — a treatise now generally thought not to 
be genuine. , ' i 


3 ° 

have sought to veil over and conceal by enigmatical writ- 
ings, and referring themselves to auricular traditions and 
such other devices, to save the credit of impostures: and 
|| yet surely to alchemy this right is due, that it may be com- 

pared to the husbandman whereof .Esop makes the fable ; 
that, when he died, told his sons that he had left unto them 
gold buried under ground in his vineyard ; and they digged 
over all the ground, and gold they found none; but by 
reason of their stirring and digging the mould about the 
roots of their vines, they had a great vintage the year follow- 
ing: so assuredly the search and stir to make gold hath 
brought to light a great number of good and fruitful inven- 
tions and experiments, as well for the disclosing of nature as 
for the use of man's life. 

And as for the overmuch credit that hath been given unto 
authors in sciences, in making them dictators, that their 
words should stand, and not counsellors 1 to give advice; 
the damage is infinite that sciences have received thereby, 
as the principal cause that hath kept them low at a stay 
without growth or advancement. For hence it hath come, 
that in arts mechanical the first deviser comes shortest, and 
time addeth and perfecteth; but in sciences the first author 
goeth farthest, and time leeseth and corrupteth. So we see, 
artillery, sailing, printing, and the like, were grossly man- 
aged at the first, and by time accommodated and refined: 
but contrariwise, the philosophies and sciences of Aristotle, 
Plato, Democritus, Hippocrates, Euclides, Archimedes, of 
most vigour at the first andby time degenerate and imbased; 
whereof the reason is no other, but that in the former many 
wits and industries have contributed in one; and in the 
latter many wits and industries have been spent about 
the wit of some one, whom many times they have rather 
j depraved than illustrated. For as water will not ascend 

higher than the level of the first springhead from whence it 
j descendeth, so knowledge derived from Aristotle, and 

exempted from liberty of examination, will not rise again 
higher than the knowledge of Aristotle. And therefore 
although the position be good, Oportet discentem credere , 2 

j 1 Editions 1629 and 1633 have consuls. De Augm “ Dictatoria 

l quadam potestate munivit ut edicant, non senatoria ut consulant.” 

| Ellis suggests that Bacon wrote counsel^- It clearly should be 

1 counsellors. 2 Arist. Soph. El. 2. 

Advancement of Learning 3 1 

vet it must be coupled with this, Oportet edodum judicare ; 
for disciples do owe unto masters only a temporary belief 
and a suspension of their own judgment until they be fully 
instructed, and not an absolute resignation or perpetual 
captivity: and therefore, to conclude this point, I will say 
no more, but so let great authors have their due, as time, 
which is’the author of authors, be not deprived of his due, 
i which is, further and further to discover truth. 

1 4 Thus have I gone over these three diseases of learning ; 

| besides the which there are some other rather peccant 
i humours that formed diseases: which nevertheless are not 
! so secret and intrinsic but that they fall under a popular 
| observation and traducement, and therefore are not to be 
i passed over. 

i (a) The first of these is the extreme affecting of two 
! extremities; the one antiquity, the other novelty; wherein 
| ft seemeth the children of time do take after the nature and 
I malice of the father. For as he devoureth his children, so 
one of them seeketh to devour and suppress the other ; 
while antiquity envieth there should be new additions, and 
; novelty cannot be content to add but it must deface. 

I Surely the advice of the prophet is the true direction in this 

j matter State super vias antiquas, et videte queenam fit via 

! recta et bona et ambulate in ea> Antiquity deserveth that 

reverence, that men should make a stand thereupon and 
discover what is the best way ; but when the discovery is 
1 well taken, then to make progression. And to speak truly, 

i Antiquitas sceculi juventus mundi? These times are the 

I ancient times, when the world is ancient, and not those 

which we account ancient ordine retrogrado, by a computa- 
i tion backward from ourselves. 

(b) Another error induced by the former is a distrust that 

■ anything should be now to be found out, which the world 
should have missed and passed over so long time; as if the 
fame objection were to be made to time, that Lucian maketh 
v ’ to Jupiter and other the heathen gods; of which he won- 
dereth that they begot so many children m old time, and 
begot none in his time ; and asketh whether they were be- 
come septuagenary, or whether the law P apia, made against 
old men’s marriages, had restrained them. So it seemeth 
men doubt lest time is become past children and generation; 

1 Jerem. vi. 16. 2 See Nov. Org. i. 84. 


3 Z 

wherein, contrariwise, we see commonly the levity and in- 
constancy of men’s judgments, which till a matter be done, 
wonder that it can be done ; and as soon as it is done, wonder 
again that it was no sooner done : as we see in the expedition 
of Alexander into Asia, which at first was prejudged as a 
vast and impossible enterprise; and yet afterwards it 
pleaseth Livy to make no more of it than this: Nil aliud 
qudm bene ausus vana contemner e ; 1 and the fame happened 
to Columbus in the western navigation. But in intellectual 
matters it is much more common ; as may be seen in most 
of the propositions of Euclid ; which till they be demonstrate, 
they seem strange to our assent; but being demonstrate, 
our mind accepteth of them by a kind of relation (as the 
lawyers speak), as if we had known them before. 

3. Another error, that hath also some affinity with the 
former, is a conceit that of former opinions or sects, after 
variety and examination, the best hath still prevailed and 
suppressed the rest ; so as, if a man should begin the labour 
of a new search, he were but like to light somewhat formerly 
rejected, and by rejection brought into oblivion: as if the 
multitude, or the wisest for the multitude’s sake, were not 
ready to give passage rather to that which is popular and 
superficial than to that which is substantial and profound ; 
for the truth is that time seemeth to be of the nature of a 
river or stream, which carrieth down to us that which is 
light and blown up, and sinketh and drowneth that which 
is weighty and solid. 

4. Another error, of a diverse nature from all the former, 
is the over early and peremptory reduction of knowledge 
into arts and methods ; from which time commonly sciences 
receive small or no augmentation. But as young men, 
when they knit and shape perfectly, do seldom grow to a 
further stature; so knowledge, while it is in aphorisms and 
observations, it is in growth : but when it once is compre- 
hended in exact methods, it may perchance be further 
polished and illustrate 2 and accommodated for use and 
practice; but it increaseth no more in bulk and substance. 

5. Another error, which doth succeed that which we last 
mentioned, is that after the distribution of particular arts 
and sciences, men have abandoned universality, or philo - 
sophia prima; which cannot but cease and stop all progres- 

1 Liv. ix. 17. 2 So in edition 1605. 

Advancement of Learning 3 3 

sion. For no perfect discovery can be made upon a flat 
or a level: neither is it possible to discover the more remote 
and deeper parts of any science, if you stand but upon the 
level of the same science, and ascend not to a higher science. 

6. Another error hath proceeded from too great a rever- 
ence, and a kind of adoration of the mind and understanding 
of man ; by means whereof men have withdrawn themselves 
too much from the contemplation of nature, and the 
observations of experience, and have tumbled up and down 
in their own reason and conceits. Upon these mtellectnai- 
ists, which are notwithstanding commonly taken for the 
most sublime and divine philosophers, Heraclitus, gave a 
iust censure, saying, Men sought truth in their own little 
worlds, and not in the great and common world; 1 for they dis- 
dain to spell, and so by degrees to read in the volume of 
God’s works : and contrariwise by continual meditation and 
agitation of wit do urge and as it were invocate their own 
spirits to divine and give oracles unto them, whereby they 

are deservedly deluded. ; 

7. Another error that hath some connection with this 
latter is, that men have used to infect their meditations, 
opinions, and doctrines, with some conceits which they have 
most admired, or some sciences which they have most 
applied ; and given all things else a tincture according to them 
utterly untrue and unproper. So hath Plato intermingled his 
philosophy with theology, and Aristotle with logic, and 
the second school of Plato, Proclus and the rest, with the 
mathematics. 2 For these were the arts which had a kind 
of primogeniture with them severally. So have the alchym- 
ists made a philosophy out of a few experiments of the 
furnace; and Gilbertus, 3 our countryman, hath made a 
philosophy out of the observations of a lodestone. So 
Cicero, when reciting the several opinions of the nature of 
the soul he found a musician that held the soul was but a 
harmony, saith pleasantly, Hie ab arte sua non recessit, etc. 
But of these conceits Aristotle speaketh seriously and wisely, 
when he saith, Qui respiciunt adpauca de facili pronunciant. 

\ f£m™tr g a ti Z MM ' V “' 133 ' 3 See Nov. Org. i. 64. 

4 Tuscul. * Disp . i. x. 20. He is speaking of Anstoxenus. Plato, 
in the Phcedo, pp. 56 and 61, introduces the same analogy. 

6 De Gener. et Corrupt . i. 2. 



8. Another error is an impatience of doubt and haste to 
assertion without due and mature suspension of judgment. 
For the two ways of contemplation are not unlike the two 
ways of action commonly spoken of by the ancients; the 
one plain and smooth in the beginning, and in the end 
impassable; the other rough and troublesome in the 
entrance, but after a while fair and even. So it is in con- 
templation; if a man will t!egin with certainties, he shall 
end in doubts ; but if he will be content to begin with 
doubts, he shall end in certainties. 

9. Another error is in the manner of the tradition and 
delivery of knowledge, which is for the most part magistral 
and peremptory, and not ingenuous and faithful; in a sort 
as may be soonest believed, and not easiliest examined. It 
is true, that in compendious treatises for practice that form 
is not to be disallowed: but in the true handling of know- 
ledge, men ought not to fall either on the one side into the 
vein of Velleius the Epicurean: Nil tam metuens, qudm ne 
dubitare aliqua de re videretur ; 1 nor on the other side into 
Socrates his ironical doubting of all things ; 1 2 but to pro- 
pound things sincerely with more or less asseveration, as 
they stand in a man’s own judgment proved more or less. 

10. Other errors there are in the scope that men propound 
to themselves, whereunto they bend their endeavours; for 
whereas the more constant and devote 3 kind of professors 
of any science ought to propound to themselves to make 
some additions to their science, they convert their labours 
to aspire to certain second prizes: as to be a profound 
interpreter or commenter, to be a sharp champion or de- 
fender, to be a methodical compounder or abridger; and 
so the patrimony of knowledge cometh to be sometimes 
improved, but seldom augmented. 

11. But the greatest error of all the rest is the mistaking 
or misplacing of the last or farthest end of knowledge : for 
men have entered into a desire of learning and knowledge, 
sometimes upon a natural curiosity and inquisitive appetite ; 
sometimes to entertain their minds with variety and delight ; 
sometimes for ornament and reputation ; and sometimes to 

1 Cic. De Nat. Deor. I. viii. 18. 

2 His Wp&veia. See Plato, Apol. (p. 21), for the best instance of 

this. He there explains his superiority to consist in the knowledge 
of his own ignorance. 3 So edition 1605. 

Advancement of Learning 35 

enable them to victory of wit and contradiction ; and most 
times for lucre and profession ; and seldom sincerely to give 
a true account of their gift of reason, to the benefit and use 
of men : as if there were sought in knowledge a couch where- 
upon to rest a searching and restless spirit ; or a tarrasse, for 
a wandering and variable mind to walk up and down with 
a fair prospect ; or a tower of state, for a proud mind to raise 
itself upon ; or a fort or commanding ground, for strife and 
contention; or a shop, for profit or sale; and not a rich 
storehouse, for the glory of the Creator and the relief of 
man’s estate. But this is that which will indeed dignify 
and exalt knowledge, if contemplation and action may be 
more nearly and straitly conjoined and united together 
than they have been; a conjunction like unto that of the 
two highest planets, Saturn, the planet of rest and contem- 
plation, and Jupiter, the planet of civil society and. action: 
howbeit, I do not mean, when I speak of use and action, 
that end before-mentioned of the applying of knowledge 
to lucre and profession; for I am not ignorant how much 
that diverteth and interrupteth the prosecution and advance- 
ment of knowledge, like unto the golden ball thrown before 
Atalanta, which while she goeth aside and stoopeth to take 
up, the race is hindered; 

Declinat cursus, aurumque volubile tollit. 1 

12. Neither is my meaning, as was spoken of Socrates, 
to call philosophy down from heaven to converse upon the 
earth ; 2 that is, to leave natural philosophy aside, and to 
apply knowledge only to manners and policy. But as both 
heaven and earth do conspire and contribute to the use and 
benefit of man; so the end ought to be, from both philo- 
sophies to separate and reject vain speculations, and what- 
soever is empty and void, and to preserve and augment 
whatsoever is solid and fruitful: that knowledge may not 
be, as a curtesan, for pleasure and vanity only, or as a bond- 
woman, to acquire and gain to her master’s use; but as a 
spouse, for generation, fruit, and comfort. 

Thus have I described and opened, as by a kind of dissec- 
tion, those peccant humours, (the principal of them,) which 
hath 3 not only given impediment to the proficience of 

1 1 )vi<l, Metam. x. 667. a Cic. Tusc. Disp. v. 4, 10. 

4 1 a all editions hath. For in Bacon’s time the verb singular was 


3 6 

learning, but have given also occasion to the traducement 
thereof : wherein if I have been too plain, it must be remem- 
bered, fidelia vulnera (mantis, sed dolosa oscula malignantis. 1 
This, I think, I have gained, that I ought to be the better 
believed in that which I shall say pertaining to commenda- 
[ tion; because I have proceeded so freely in that which 

, concerneth censure. And yet I have no purpose to enter 

, into a laudative of learning, or to make a hymn to the 

Muses; (though I am of opinion that it is long since their 
rites were duly celebrated:) but my intent is, without 
varnish or amplification justly to weigh the dignity of 
knowledge in the balance with other tilings, and to take 
the true value thereof by testimonies and arguments divine 
and human. 

II. i. First therefore let us seek the dignity of knowledge 
in the archetype or first platform, which is in the attributes 
and acts of God, as far as they are revealed to man and 
i may be observed with sobriety ; wherein we may not seek 

I it by the name of Learning ; for all Learning is Knowledge 

1 acquired, and all knowledge in God is original : and there- 

| fore we must look for it by another name, that of Wisdom 

I or Sapience, as the Scriptures call it. 

1 It is so then, that in the work of the creation we see a 

I double emanation of Virtue from God; the one referring 

more properly to Power, the other to Wisdom; the one 
expressed in making the subsistence of the matter, and the 
other in disposing the beauty of the form. This being 
supposed, it is to be observed that for anything which 
appeareth in the history of the creation, the confused mass 
and matter of Heaven and Earth was made in a moment ; 
f and the order and disposition of that chaos or mass was 

| the work of six days ; such a note of difference it pleased 

God to put upon the works of Power, and the works of Wis- 
dom; wherewith concurreth, that in the former it is not set 
down that God said, Let there be heaven and earth , as it is 
set down of the works following; but actually, that God 
made Heaven and Earth: the one carrying the style of a 
Manufacture, and the other of a Law, Decree, or Counsel, 

To proceed to that which is next in order from God, to 

very commonly used with more nominatives than one, and even 
with plural nouns, as here, 

1 Prov. xxvii. 6. 


Advancement of Learning 37 

! Spirits ; 1 we find, as far as credit is to be given to the 
celestial hierarchy of that supposed Dionysius the senator 
of Athens, the first place or degree is given to the angels of 
Love, which are termed Seraphim ; the second to the angels 
j of Light, which are termed Cherubim ; and the third, and 
j so following places, to Thrones, Principalities, and the rest, 

j which are all angels of power and ministry ; so as the angels 

of Knowledge and Illumination are placed before the angels 
of Office and Domination . 2 

To descend from Spirits and Intellectual Forms to Sensible 
and Material Forms; we read the first Form that was 
created was Light , 3 which hath a relation and correspond- 
ence in nature and corporal things to Knowledge in Spirits 
and incorporal things. 

So in the distribution of days we see the day wherein God 
did rest and contemplate His own works, was blessed above 
all the days wherein He did effect, and accomplish them . 4 

After the creation was finished, it is set down unto us 
that man was placed in the garden to work therein; which 
work, so appointed to him, could be no other than work of 
Contemplation; that is, when the end of work is but for 
exercise and experiment, not for necessity; for there being 
then no reluctation of the creature, nor sweat of the brow, 
man's employment must of consequence have been matter 
of delight in the experiment, and not matter of labour for 
the use. Again, the first acts which man performed in 
Paradise consisted of the two summary parts of knowledge ; 
the view of creatures, and the imposition of names . 5 As 
for the knowledge which induced the fall, it was, as was 
touched before, not the natural knowledge of creatures, but 
the moral knowledge of good and evil ; wherein the supposi- 
tion was, that God's commandments or prohibitions were 
not the originals of good and evil, but that they had other 
beginnings, which man aspired to know ; to the end to make 
a total defection from God and to depend wholly upon 

To pass on: in the first event or occurrence after the fall 

of man, we see, (as the Scriptures have infinite mysteries, not 


1 Cf. Hooker, E. P. I. iv. I, 2. 

2 Dionys. De Ccelesti Hierarch, cap. 7, 8, 9. This work is, as 
Bacon hints, spurious, though no other author is assigned. 

j 3 Gen. i. 3. 4 ii. 3. fi ii. 19- 



I | ■ ■ 

violating at all the truth of the story or letter,) an image of 
the two estates, the contemplative state and the active 
state, figured in the two persons of Abel and Cain, and in 
the two simplest and most primitive trades of life ; that of 
the shepherd, (who, by reason of his leisure, rest in a place, 
and living in view of heaven, is a lively image of a contem- 
plative life,) and that of the husbandman : 1 where we see 
again the favour and election of God went to the shepherd, 
and not to the tiller of the ground. 

So in the age before the flood, the holy records within 
those few memorials which are there entered and registered 
have vouchsafed to mention and honour the name of the 
inventors and authors of music and works in metal . 2 In 
the age after the flood, the first great judgment of God upon 
the ambition of man was the confusion of tongues ; 3 whereby 
the open trade and intercourse of learning and knowledge 
was chiefly imbarred. 

To descend to Moses the lawgiver, and God’s first pen: 
he is adorned by the Scriptures with this addition and 
commendation, That he was seen in all the learning of the 
Egyptians ; 4 which nation, we know, was one of the most 
ancient schools of the world: for so Plato brings in the 
Egyptian priest saying unto Solon: You Grecians are ever 
children ; you have no knowledge of antiquity , nor antiquity 
of knowledge? Take a view of the ceremonial law of Moses ; 
you shall find, besides the prefiguration of Christ, the badge 
or difference of the people of God, the exercise and impres- 
sion of obedience, and other divine uses and fruits thereof, 
that some of the most learned Rabbins have travailed 
profitably and profoundly to observe, some of them a natural, 
some of them a moral sense, or reduction of many of the 
ceremonies and ordinances. As in the law of the leprosy, 
where it is said, If the whiteness have overspread the flesh , the 
patient may pass abroad for clean ; but if there be any whole 
flesh remaining , he is to be shut up for unclean ; 6 one of them 
noteth a principle of nature, that putrefaction is more con- 
tagious before maturity than after : and another noteth a 
position of moral philosophy, that men abandoned to vice 
do not so much corrupt manners, as those that are half good 

1 Gen. iv. 2. 

8 x *- 

B Plat. Tim. iii. 22. 

2 iv. 21, 22. 

* Act. Ap. vii. 22. 

8 Levit. xiii. 12-14. 

Advancement of Learning 39 

and half evil . So in this and very many other places in that 
law, there is to be found, besides the theological sense, 
much aspersion of philosophy. 

So likewise in that excellent book of Job, if it be revolved 
with diligence, it will be found pregnant and swelling with 
natural philosophy ; as, for example, cosmography, and the 
roundness of the world, Qui extendit aquilonem super vacuum , 
et appendit ten am super nihilum ; 1 wherein the pensileness 
of the earth, the pole of the north, and the finiteness or 
convexity of heaven are manifestly touched. So again, 
matter of astronomy ; Spiritus ejus ornavit ccelos , et obstetri- 
cante manu ejus eductus est coluber tortuosus . 1 2 * And in another 
place ; N unquid conjtmgere valebis micantes stellas Pleiadas, 
aut gyrum Arcturi poteris dissipare ? z Where the fixing of 
the stars, ever standing at equal distance, is with great 
elegancy noted. And in another place, Qui facit Arcturum, 
et Ofiona, et Hyadas, et interior a Austri ; 4 where again he 
takes knowledge of the depression of the southern pole, 
calling it the secrets of the south, because the southern stars 
were in that climate unseen. Matter of generation ; Annon 
sicut lac mulsisti me , et sicut caseum coagulasti me? etc . 5 
Matter of minerals; Habet argentum venarum suarum 
principia : et auro locus est in quo confiatur, fernim de terra 
tollitur , et lapis solutus calore in ces vertitur : 6 and so for- 
wards in that chapter. 

So likewise in the person of Salomon the King, we see the 
gift or endowment of wisdom and learning, both in Salo- 
mon's petition and in God's assent thereunto, preferred 
before all other terrene and temporal felicity . 7 By virtue 
of wliich grant or donative of God Salomon became enabled 
not only to write those excellent Parables or Aphorisms 
concerning divine and moral philosophy; but also to com- 
pile a Natural History of all verdure, from the cedar upon 
the mountain to the moss upon the wall, (which is but a 
rudiment between putrefaction and a herb ,) 8 and also of 
all things that breathe or move . 9 Nay, the same Salomon 
the King, although he excelled in the glory of treasure and 
magnificent buildings, of shipping and navigation, of service 
and attendance, of fame and renown, and the like, yet he 

1 Job. xxvi. 7. 

4 ix. 9. 

7 1 Kings iii. 5, seq 

4 ° 


maketh no claim to any of those glories, but only to the 
glory of inquisition of truth; for so he saith expressly, The 
glory of God is to conceal a thing, but the glory of the king is to 
find it out ; 1 as if, according to the innocent play of children, 
the Divine Majesty took delight to hide His works, to the 
end to have them found out ; and as if kings could not obtain 
a greater honour than to be God’s playfellows in that game ; 
considering the great commandment of wits and means, 
whereby nothing needeth to be hidden from them. 

Neither did the dispensation of God vary in the times 
after our Saviour came into the world; for our Saviour 
Himself did first show His power to subdue ignorance, by 
His conference with the priests and doctors of the law, 2 
before He showed His power to subdue nature by His 
miracles. And the coming of the Holy Spirit was chiefly 
figured and expressed in the similitude and gift of tongues, 3 
which are but vehicula scientice. 

So in the election of those instruments, which it pleased 
God to use for the plantation of the Faith, notwithstanding 
that at the first He did employ persons altogether unlearned, 
otherwise than by inspiration, more evidently to declare 
His immediate working, and to abase all human wisdom or 
knowledge; yet, nevertheless, that counsel of His was no 
sooner performed, but in the next vicissitude and succession 
He did send His Divine Truth into the world waited on with 
other learnings, as with servants or handmaids; for so we 
see St. Paul, who was the only learned amongst the Apostles, 
had his pen most used in the Scriptures of the New Testa- 

So again, we find that many of the ancient Bishops and 
Fathers of the Church were excellently read and studied in 
all the learning of the heathen; insomuch that the edict of 
the Emperor Julianus, 4 whereby it was interdicted unto 
Christians to be admitted into schools, lectures, or exercises 
of lear ning , was esteemed and accounted a more pernicious 
engine and machination against the Christian Faith, than 
were all the sanguinary prosecutions of his predecessors; 
neither could the emulation and jealousy of Gregory the 
first of that name, bishop of Rome, 5 ever obtain the opinion 

1 Pro v. xxv. 2. 2 Luke ii. 46* 3 Act. Ap. ii. 1. 

4 Gibbon, vol. ii. c. 23, who quotes Ammian. xxv. 5. 

5 Gibbon! vol. iv. c. 45. The story that St. Gregory destroyed 

Advancement of Learning 41 

of piety or devotion; but contrariwise received the censure 
of humour, malignity, and pusillanimity, even amongst holy 
men ; in that he designed to obliterate and extinguish the 
memory of heathen antiquity and authors. But contrari- 
wise, it was the Christian Church, which, amidst the inunda- 
tions of the Scythians on the one side from the north-west, 
and the Saracens from the east, did preserve in the sacred 
lap and bosom thereof the precious relics even of heathen 
learning, which otherwise had been extinguished as if no 
such thing had ever been. 

And we see before our eyes, that in the age of ourselves 
and our fathers, when it pleased God to call the Church of 
Rome to account for their degenerate manners and cere- 
monies, and sundry doctrines obnoxious and framed to 
uphold the same abuses; at one and the same time it was 
ordained by the Divine Providence that there should attend 
withal a renovation and new spring of all other knowledges. 
And on the other side we see the Jesuits, (who partly in 
themselves, and partly by the emulation and provocation 
of their example, have much quickened and strengthened 
the state of learning,) we see, I say, what notable service 
and reparation they have done to the Roman see. 

Wherefore, to conclude this part, let it be observed, that 
there be two principal duties and services, besides ornament 
and illustration, which philosophy and human learning do 
perform to faith and religion. The one, because they are an 
effectual inducement to the exaltation of the glory of God: 
for as the Psalms and other Scriptures do often invite us to 
consider and magnify the great and wonderful works of 
God , 1 so if we should rest only in the contemplation of the 
exterior of them, as they first offer themselves to our senses, 
we should do a like injury unto the Majesty of God, as if 
we should judge or construe of the store of some excellent 
jeweller, by that only which is set out toward the street in 
his shop. The other, because they minister a singular help 
and preservative against unbelief and error: for our Saviour 
saith, You err, not knowing the Scriptures , nor the power of 
God ; 2 laying before us two books or volumes to study, if 

the Palatine Library is now rejected; but as to his aversion to pro- 
fane letters there can be no doubt. Milman’s Latin Christianity , 
bk. iii. c. 7. 

1 Ps. xix. civ. 

2 Matt. xxii. 29. 



we will be secured from error; first, the Scriptures, reveal- 
ing the Will of God; and then the creatures expressing His 
Power ; 1 whereof the latter is a key unto the former : not 
only opening our understanding to conceive the true sense 
of the Scriptures, by the general notions of reason and rules 
of speech ; but chiefly opening our belief, in drawing us into 
a due meditation of the omnipotency of God, which is 
chiefly signed and engraven upon His works. Thus much 
therefore for divine testimony and evidence concerning the 
true dignity and value of Learning. 

ii. As for human proofs, it is so large a field, as in a dis- 
course of this nature and brevity it is fit rather to use choice 
of those things which we shall produce, than to embrace the 
variety of them. First, therefore, in the degrees of human 
honour amongst the heathen, it was the highest to obtain to 
a veneration and adoration as a God. This unto the Chris- 
tians is as the forbidden fruit. But we speak now separately 
m of human testimony: according to which, that which the 

|i| Grecians call apotheosis , and the Latins, relatio inter divos, 

was the supreme honour which man could attribute unto 
man : especially when it was given, not by a formal decree 
or act of state, as it was used among the Roman Emperors, 
but by an inward assent and belief. Which honour, being 
so high, had also a degree or middle term; for there were 
reckoned above human honours, honours 2 heroical and 
divine : in the attribution and distribution of which honours, 
we see antiquity made this difference : that whereas 
founders and uniters of states and cities, law-givers, extirpers 
of tyrants, fathers of the people, and other eminent persons 
in civil merit, were honoured but with the titles of worthies 
or demi-gods; such as were Hercules, Theseus, Minos, 
Romulus, and the like: on the other side, such as were 
inventors and authors of new arts, endowments, and com- 
modities towards man's life, were ever consecrated amongst 
the gods themselves; as were Ceres, Bacchus, Mercurius, 
Apollo, and others: and justly ; for the merit of the former 
is confined within the circle of an age or a nation ; and is 
like fruitful showers, which though they be profitable and 
good, yet serve but for that season, and for a latitude of 
ground where they fall; but the other is indeed like the 
benefits of heaven, which are permanent and universal. 
1 Cf. Nov . Org. i. 89. a All the old editions read honour. 

Advancement of Learning 43 

The former, again, is mixed with strife and perturbation; 
but the latter hath the true character of Divine Presence, 
coming 1 in aura lent, without noise or agitation. 

Neither is certainly that other merit of learning, in re- 
pressing the inconveniences which grow from man to man, 
much inferior to the former, of relieving the necessities 
which arise from nature; which merit was lively set forth 
by the ancients in that feigned relation of Orpheus’ theatre, 
where all beasts and birds assembled; and, forgetting their 
several appetites, some of prey, some of game, some of 
quarrel, stood all sociably together listening to the airs and 
accords of the harp; the sound whereof no sooner ceased, or 
was drowned by some louder noise, but every beast returned 
to its own nature: wherein is aptly described the nature 
and condition of men, who are full of savage and unre- 
claimed desires of profit, of lust, of revenge; which as long 
as they give ear to precepts, to laws, to religion, sweetly 
touched with eloquence and persuasion of books, of sermons, 
of harangues, so long is society and peace maintained; but 
if these instruments be silent, or that sedition and tumult 
make them not audible, all things dissolve into anarchy and 

But this appeareth more manifestly, when kings them- 
selves, or persons of authority under them, or other gover- 
nors in commonwealths and popular estates, are endued 
with learning. For although he might be thought partial 
to his own profession, that said, Then should people and 
estates be happy , when either kings were philosophers , or philo- 
sophers kings ; 2 yet so much is verified by experience, that 
under learned princes and governors there have been ever 
the best times : for howsoever kings may have their imper- 
fections in their passions and customs; yet if they be illu- 
minate by learning, they have those notions of religion, 
policy, and morality, which do preserve them, and refrain 
them from all ruinous and peremptory errors and excesses ; 
whispering evermore in their ears, when counsellors and 
servants stand mute and silent. And senators or coun- 
sellors likewise, which be learned, do proceed upon more 
safe and substantial principles, than counsellors which are 

1 In the edition 1605 com — ends a line, and the remainder of the 
word has been omitted. The editions 1629 and 1633 read commonly . 

2 Plat. Rep. v. 473. 


only men of experience: the one sort keeping dangers afar 
off, whereas the other discover them not till they come near 
hand, and then trust to the agility of their wit to ward or 
avoid them. 

Which felicity of times under learned princes, (to keep 
still the law of brevity, by using the most eminent and 
selected examples,) doth best appear in the age which 
passed from the death of Domitian the emperor until the 
reign of Commodus; comprehending a succession of six 
princes, all learned, or singular favourers and advancers 
of learning, which age for temporal respects, was the most 
happy and flourishing that ever the Roman empire, (which 
then was a model of the world,) enjoyed: a matter revealed 
and prefigured unto Domitian in a dream the night before 
he was slain; for he thought there was grown behind upon 
his shoulders a neck and head of gold : which came accord- 
ingly to pass in those golden times which succeeded: of 
which princes we will make some commemoration; wherein 
although the matter will be vulgar, and may be thought 
fitter for a declamation than agreeable to a treatise infolded 
as this is, yet because it is pertinent to the point in hand, 

Neque semper arcum 
Tendit Apollo, 1 

and to name them only were too naked and cursory, I will 
not omit it altogether. The first was Nerva; the excellent 
temper of whose government is by a glance in Cornelius 
Tacitus touched to the life: Postquam divus Nerva res olim 
insociabiles miscuisset , imperium et libertatem . 2 And in 
token of his learning, the last act of his short reign left to 
memory, was a missive to his adopted son Trajan, proceed- 
ing upon some inward discontent at the ingratitude of the 
times, comprehended in a verse of Homer's: 

Telis, Phoebe, tuis lacrymas ulciscere nostras. 8 

Trajan, who succeeded, was for his person not learned: 
but if we will hearken to the speech of our Saviour, that 
saith, Be that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet, 
shall have a prophet* s reward ; 4 he deserveth to be placed 

1 Hor. Od, ii. ro, 19. z Agric. Vit. c. 3. 

3 T Ltretav Act vaoi £ju& ddtcpv a <roi<ri fi£\e<r<xiv. Horn. II. a . 42. 
Dionis. Epit. (Xiphilini), xii. 

4 Matt. x. 41. 

Advancement of Learning 45 

amongst the most learned princes: for there was not a 
greater admirer of learning, or benefactor of learning; a 
founder of famous libraries, a perpetual advancer of learned 
men to office, and a familiar converser with learned profes- 
sors and preceptors, who were noted to have then most 
credit in court. On the other side, how much Trajan's 
virtue and government was admired and renowned, surely 
no testimony of grave and faithful history doth more lively 
set forth, than that legend tale of Gregorius Magnus, bishop 
of Rome, who was noted for the extreme envy he bore 
towards all heathen excellency: and yet he is reported, 
out of the love and estimation of Trajan's moral virtues, 
to have made unto God passionate and fervent prayers for 
the delivery of his soul out of hell : 1 and to have obtained it, 
with a caveat that he should make no more such petitions. 
In this prince’s time also, the persecution against the Chris- 
tians received intermission, upon the certificate of Plinius 
Secundus, a man of excellent learning, and by Trajan 
advanced . 2 

Adrian, his successor, was the most curious man that 
lived, and the most universal inquirer; insomuch as it was 
noted for an error in his mind, that he desired to compre- 
hend all things, !Lnd not to reserve himself for the worthiest 
things: falling into the like humour that was long before 
noted in Philip of Macedon, who, when he would needs 
over-rule and put down an excellent musician in an argu- 
ment touching music, was well answered by him again, 
God forbid , sir , saith he, that your fortune should be so bad , 
as to know these things better than l . 3 It pleased God like- 
wise to use the curiosity of this emperor as an inducement 
to the peace of His Church in those days. For having 
Christ in veneration, not as a God or Saviour, but as a 
wonder or novelty; and having His picture in his gallery, 
matched with Apollonius, with whom in his vain imagina- 
tion he thought he had some conformity; yet it served the 
turn to allay the bitter hatred of those times against the 
Christian name, so as the Church had peace during his time. 
And for his government civil, although he did not attain to 
that of Trajan’s glory of arms, or perfection of justice, yet 

1 See Dante, Purgatorio, x., who seems to take it from the Life of 

Gregory , by John the Deacon. 

a C. Plin. Epist. x. 97. 8 Plutarch, Apophth. 179. 



in deserving of the weal of the subject he did exceed him. 
For Trajan erected many famous monuments and buildings ; 
insomuch as Constantine the Great in emulation was wont 
to call him Parietaria, wall-flower, because his name was 
upon so many walls: but his buildings and works were 
more of glory and triumph than use and necessity. But 
Adrian spent his whole reign, which was peaceable, .in a 
perambulation or survey of the Roman empire, giving 
order and making assignation where he went, for re-edifying 
of cities, towns, and forts decayed; and for cutting of rivers 
and streams, and for making bridges and passages, and for 
policing 1 of cities and commonalties with new ordinances 
and constitutions, and granting new franchises and incor- 
porations; so that his whole time was a very restoration 
of all the lapses and decays of former times. 

Anto nin us Pius, who succeeded him, was a prince excel- 
lently learned; and had the patient and subtle wit of a 
schoolman; insomuch as in common speech, which leaves 
no virtue untaxed, he was called Cymini Sector , 2 a carver 
or divider of cummin, which is one of the least seeds ; such 
a patience he had and settled spirit to enter into the least 
and most exact differences of causes; a fruit no doubt of 
the exceeding tranquillity and serenity of his mind; which 
being no ways charged or incumbered, either with fears, 
remorses, or scruples, but having been noted for a man of 
the purest goodness, without all fiction or affectation, that 
hath reigned or lived, made his mind continually present 
and entire. He likewise approached a degree nearer unto 
Christianity, and became, as Agrippa said unto St. Paul, 
half a Christian ; 3 holding their religion and law in good 
opinion, and not only ceasing persecution, but giving way 
to the advancement of Christians. 

There succeeded him the first Divi fratres, the two adop- 
tive brethren, Lucius Commodus Veras , 4 (son to iElius 
Veras, who delighted much in the softer kind of learning, 
and was wont to call the poet Martial his Virgil, 5 ) and 
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus; whereof the latter, who 

1 Editions 1605 and 1629, pollicing, edition 1633. pollishing. 

2 Unum de istis puto qui cuminum secant, Julian, Cass. So 
Aristot, Eih. Nic. iv. 3, eh rCbv Btavpiovrccv rb ictijuupov, where, however, 
the phrase is used of the " skinflint,” or niggard. 

* Acts xxvi. 28. 4 Better known as L. Aurelius Verus, 

* See his life by Spartianus. : 

Advancement of Learning 47 

obscured his colleague and survived him long, was named 
the philosopher: who, as he excelled all the rest in learning, 
so he excelled them likewise in perfection of all royal virtues ; 
insomuch as Julianus the emperor, in his book entitled 
CcesareSy being as a pasquil or satire to deride all his prede- 
cessors, feigned that they were all invited to a banquet of 
the gods, and Silenus the jester sat at the nether end of the 
table, and bestowed a scoff on every one as they came in; 
but when Marcus Philosophus came in, Silenus was gravelled, 
and out of countenance, not knowing where to carp at him ; 
save at the last he gave a glance at his patience towards his 
wife. And the virtue of this prince, continued with that of 
his predecessor, made the name of Antoninus so sacred in 
the world, that though it were extremely dishonoured in 
Commodus, Caracalla, and Heliogabalus, who all bore the 
name, yet when Alexander Severus refused the name, 
because he was a stranger to the family, the senate with one 
acclamation said, Quomodo Augustus , sic et Antoninus . In 
such renown and veneration was the name of these two 
princes in those days, that they would have it as a perpetual 
addition in all the emperors’ style. In this emperor’s time 
also the Church for the most part was in peace ; so as in this 
sequence of six princes we do see the blessed effects of 
learning in sovereignty, painted forth in the greatest table 
of the world. 

But for a tablet, or picture of smaller volume, (not pre- 
suming to speak of your majesty that liveth,) in my judg- 
ment the most excellent is that of Queen Elizabeth, your 
immediate predecessor in this part of Britain; a princess 
that, if Plutarch were now alive to write lives 1 by parallels, 
would trouble him, I think, to find for her a parallel amongst 
women. This lady was endued with learning in her sex 
singular, and great 2 even amongst masculine princes; 
whether we speak of learning, of language, or of science, 
modern or ancient, Divinity or Humanity: and unto the 
very last year of her life she was accustomed to appoint set 
hours for reading, scarcely any young student in a univer- 
sity more daily, or more duly. As for her government, I 
assure myself I shall not exceed, if I do affirm that this part 

1 Edition 1605, lynes. 

2 Editions 1629, 1633, rare. Edition 1605, grace, i.e.“ learning in 
her sex singular, and grace even amongst masculine princes.” 




of the island never had forty-five years of better times ; and 
yet not through the calmness of the season, but through the 
wisdom of her regiment. For if there be considered of the 
one side, the truth of religion established; the constant 
peace and security ; the good administration of justice ; the 
temperate use of the prerogative, not slackened, nor much 
strained; the flourishing state of learning, sortable to so 
excellent a patroness; the convenient estate of wealth and 
means, both of Crown and subject; the habit of obedience, 
and the moderation of discontents: and there be considered 
on the other side the differences of religion; the troubles 
of neighbour countries; the ambition of Spain, and opposi- 
tion of Rome; and then, that she was solitary and of herself: 
these things, I say, considered, as I could not have chosen an 
instance so recent and so proper, so I suppose I could not 
have chosen one more remarkable or eminent to the purpose 
now in hand, which is concerning the conjunction of learn- 
ing in the prince with felicity in the people. 

Neither hath learning an influence and operation only 
upon civil merit and moral virtue, and the arts or tempera- 
ture of peace and peaceable government; but likewise it 
hath no less power and efficacy in enablement towards 
martial and military virtue and prowess ; as may be notably 
represented in the examples of Alexander the Great, and 
Csesar the dictator, mentioned before, but now in fit place 
to be resumed : of whose virtues and acts in war there needs 
no note or recital, having been the wonders of time in that 
kind: but of their affections towards learning, and perfec- 
tions in learning, it is pertinent to say somewhat. 

Alexander 1 was bred and taught under Aristotle, the great 
philosopher, who dedicated divers of his books of philo- 
sophy unto him: he was attended with Callisthenes and 
divers other learned persons, that followed him in camp, 
throughout his journeys and conquests. What price and 
estimation he had learning in doth notably appear in these 
three particulars : first, in the envy he used to express that 
he bore towards Achilles, in this, that he had so good a 
trumpet of his praises as Homer’s verses; secondly, in the 
judgment or solution he gave touching that precious cabinet 
of Darius, which was found among his jewels; whereof 
question was made what thing was worthy to be put into it : 

1 These anecdotes of Alexander come from Plutarch, Vit. Alex 

Advancement of Learning 49 

and he gave his opinion for Homer’s works: thirdly, in his 
letter to Aristotle, after he had set forth his books of nature, 
wherein he expostulated with him for publishing the secrets 
or mysteries of philosophy; and gave him to understand 
that himself esteemed it more to excel other men in learning 
and knowledge than in power and empire. And what use 
he had of learning doth appear, or rather shine, in all his 
speeches and answers, being full of science, and use of science, 
and that in all variety. 

And herein again it may seem a thing scholastical, and 
somewhat idle, to recite things that every man knoweth; 
but yet, since the argument I handle leadeth me thereunto, 
I am glad that men shall perceive I am as willing to flatter, 
if they will so call it, an Alexander, or a Caesar, or an Anto- 
ninus, that are dead many hundred years since, as any that 
now liveth: for it is the displaying of the glory of learning 
in sovereignty that I propound to myself, and not an 
humour of declaiming in any man’s praises. Observe then 
the speech he used of Diogenes, and see if it tend not to the 
true state of one of the greatest questions of moral philo- 
sophy; whether the enjoying of outward things, or the 
contemning of them, be the greatest happiness: for when 
he saw Diogenes so perfectly contented with so little, he said 
to those that mocked at his condition, Were I not Alexander , 
I would wish to be Diogenes. But Seneca inverteth it, and 
saith; Plus erat, quod hie nollet accipere , qudm quod Me posset 
dare . 1 There were more things which Diogenes would have 
refused, than there were which Alexander could have given. 

Observe again that speech which was usual with him, 
That he felt his mortality chiefly in two things , sleep and lust ; 2 
and see if it were not a speech extracted out of the depth of 
natural philosophy, and liker to have come out of the mouth 
of Aristotle or Democritus, than from Alexander. 

See again that speech of humanity and poesy ; when upon 
the bleeding of his wounds, he called unto him one of his 
flatterers, that was wont to ascribe to him divine honour, 
and said, Look , this is very blood ; this is not such a liquor as 
Homer speaketh of, which ran from Venus' hand, when it was 
pierced by Diomedes? 

1 Sen. De Benef. v. 4. 2 Sen. Ep. Mor. vi. 7. 

8 ’Ix^Pj oWs vip re ptet p,aK&pecrcri BeoWi. II. e. 340. Cf. Seneca, 
ad Lucil. 59 * ^ 

(jo Bacon 

See likewise his readiness in reprehension of logic, in the 

I speech he used to Cassander, upon a complaint that was 

made against his father Antipater: for when Alexander 
happened to say, Do you think these men would have come 
fyom so fay to complain, except they had just cause of grief ? 
And Cassander answered, Yea, that was the matter, because 
they thought they should not be disproved. Said Alexander 
laughing: See the subtilties of Aristotle, to take a matter both 
ways, pro et contra, etc. 

But note again how well he could use the same art, which 
he reprehended, to serve his own humour: when bearing a 
secret grudge to Callisthenes, because he was against the 
new ceremony of his adoration, feasting one night where the 
same Callisthenes was at the table, it was moved by some 
after supper, for entertainment sake, that Callisthenes, who 
was an eloquent man, might speak of some theme or purpose 
at his own choice; which Callisthenes did; choosing the 
praise of the Macedonian nation for his discourse, and per- 
forming the same with so good manner, as the hearers were 
much ravished: whereupon Alexander, nothing pleased, 
said. It was easy to be eloquent upon so good a subject. But, 
saith he, Turn your style, and let us hear what you can say 
against us : which Callisthenes presently undertook, and 
did with that sting and life, that Alexander interrupted 
him, and said, The goodness of the cause made him eloquent 
before, and despite made him eloquent then again. 

Consider further, for tropes of rhetoric, that excellent use 
of a metaphor or translation, wherewith he taxed Antipater, 
who was an imperious and tyrannous governor: for when 
one of Antipater’s friends commended him to Alexander 
for his moderation, that he did not degenerate, as his other 
lieutenants did, into the Persian pride, in use of purple, but 
kept the ancient habit of Macedon, of black; 1 True, saith 
Alexander, but Antipater is all purple within , 2 Or that 
other, when Parmenio came to him in the plain of Arbela, 
and showed him the innumerable multitude of his enemies, 
especially as they appeared by the infinite number of lights, 
as it had been a new firmament of stars, and thereupon 
advised him to assail them by night: whereupon he an- 
swered, That he would not steal the victory. 

1 The Greek is XevKoir&pvtpos. 

2 6\oTr6p<f>vpos. Apop. Reg. et Imp. 



Advancement of Learning 5 1 

For matter of policy, weigh that significant distinction, 
so much in all ages embraced, that he made between his 
two friends, Hephsestion and Craterus, when he said, Thai 
the one loved Alexander , and the other loved the king : describ- 
ing the principal difference of princes' best servants, that 
some in affection love their person, and others in duty love 
their crown. 

Weigh also that excellent taxation of an error, ordinary 
with counsellors of princes, that they counsel their masters 
according to the model of their own mind and fortune, and 
not of their masters'; when, upon Darius’ great offers, 
Parmenio had said, Surely I would accept these offers, were 
I as Alexander ; saith Alexander, So would 1, were I as 

Lastly, weigh that quick and acute reply, which he made 
when he gave so large gifts to his friends and servants, and 
was asked what he did reserve for himself, and he answered, 
Hope : weigh, I say, whether he had not cast up his account 
right, because hope must be the portion of all that resolve 
upon great enterprises. For this was Caesar's portion when 
he went first into Gaul, his estate being then utterly over- 
thrown with largesses. And this was likewise the portion 
of that noble prince, howsoever transported with ambition, 
Henry Duke of Guise, of whom it was usually said, that he 
was the greatest usurer in France, because he had turned 
all his estate into obligations. 

To conclude, therefore: as certain critics are used to say 
hyperbolically, That if all sciences were lost they might be 
found in Virgil ! so certainly this may be said truly, there 
are the prints and footsteps of learning in those few speeches 
which are reported of this prince : the admiration of whom, 
when I consider him not as Alexander the Great, but as 
Aristotle's scholar, hath carried me too far. 

As for Julius Caesar, the excellency of his learning needeth 
not to be argued from his education, or his company, or his 
speeches ; but in a further degree doth declare itself in his 
writings and works; whereof some are extant and perma- 
nent, and some unfortunately perished. For, first, we see 
there is left unto us that excellent history of his own wars, 
which he entitled only a Commentary, wherein all succeed- 
ing times have admired the solid weight of matter, and the 
real passages and lively images of actions and persons. 

ij2 Bacon 

expressed in the greatest propriety of words and perspicuity 
of narration that ever was ; which that it was not the effect 
of a natural gift, but of learning and precept, is well wit- 
nessed by that work of his, entitled, De Analogia , being a 
grammatical philosophy, wherein he did labour to make 
this same Vox ad placitum to become Vox ad licitum, and to 
reduce custom of speech to congruity of speech , and took, 
as it were, the picture of words from the life of reason. 

So we receive from him, as a monument both of his power 
and learning, the then reformed computation of the year; 
well expressing that he took it to be as great a glory to him- 
self to observe and know the law of the heavens, as to give 
law to men upon the earth. . 

So likewise in that book of his, Anti-Cato, it may easily 
appear that he did aspire as well to victory of wit as 
victory of war: undertaking therein a conflict against the 
greatest champion with the pen that then lived, Cicero 

the Orator. . „ . , 

So again in his book of Apophthegms, which he collected, 
we see that he esteemed it more honour to make himself 
but a pair of tables to take the wise and pithy words of 
others, than to have every word of his own to be made an 
apophthegm or an oracle; as vain princes, by custom of 
flattery, pretend to do. 3 And yet if I should enumerate 
divers of his speeches, as I did those of Alexander, they are 
truly such as Solomon noteth, when he saith, Verba sapien- 
tum tanquam aculei, et tanquam clavi in altum defixi : 4 
whereof I will only recite three, not so delectable for 
elegancy, but admirable for vigour and efficacy. 

As, first, it is reason he be thought a master of words, 
that could with one word appease a mutiny in his army, 
which was thus: The Romans, when their generals did 
speak to their army, did use the word milites, but when the 
magistrates spake to the people, they did use the word 
Quirites. The soldiers were in tumult, and seditiously 
prayed to be cashiered; not that they so meant, but by 
expostulation thereof to draw Caesar to other conditions; 
wherein he being resolute not to give way, after some silence, 
he began his speech, Ego, Quirites , 5 which did admit 

1 Cic. Brutus, 72. 2 Cic. ad. Att. xii. 40, 41 ! ?iii. 50. 

» Cie. Epist. ad Div. ix. 16. Eccl - xu - 11 • 

1 Suet. Jul. Cats. c. 70. 



Advancement of Learning 5 3 

them already cashiered; wherewith they were so surprised, 
crossed, and confused, as they would not suffer him to go 
on in his speech, but relinquished their demands, and made 
it their suit to be again called by the name of milites . 

The second speech was thus : Caesar did extremely affect 
the name of king ; and some were set on as he passed by in 
popular acclamation to salute him king: whereupon, find- 
ing the cry weak and poor, he put it off thus, in a kind of 
jest, as if they had mistaken his surname; Non Rex sum , 
sed C cesar ; x a speech that if it be searched the life and 
fulness of it can scarce be expressed. For, first, it was 
a refusal of the name, but yet not serious: again, it did 
signify an infinite confidence and magnanimity, as if he 
presumed Caesar was the greater title ; as by his worthiness ' 
it is come to pass till this day: but chiefly it was a speech 
of great allurement toward his own purpose; as if the state 
did strive with him but for a name, whereof mean families 
were vested; for Rex was a surname with the Romans, as 
well as King is with us . 1 2 * 

The last speech which I will mention, was used to Metellus, 
when Caesar after war declared did possess himself of the 
city of Rome; at which time entering into the inner 
treasury to take the money there accumulated, Metellus 
being tribune forbade him: whereto Caesar said, That if he 
did not desist, he would lay him dead in the place. And pre- 
sently taking himself up, he added, Adolescens , durius est 
mihi hoc dicer e quam facer e. Young man, it is harder for me 
to speak than to do it? A speech compounded of the greatest 
terror and greatest clemency that could proceed out of the 
mouth of man . 4 

But to return and conclude with him; it is evident, him- 
self knew well his own perfection in learning, and took it 
upon him; as appeared when, upon occasion that some 
spake what a strange resolution it was in Lucius Sylla to 
resign his dictature ; he scoffing at him to his own advan- 
tage answered, That Sylla could not skill of letters, and there- 
fore knew not how to dictate? 

1 Suet. Jul. Ccbs. c. 70 . 2 Cf . Hor. Sat. I. vii. 9 

8 Plutarch , Jul. Cass. J 

4 To these might have well been added Caesar’s exhortation to i: 

the boatman, “ Thou earnest Caesar and his fortunes.” I 

6 Suet. Jul. Ccbs. c. 77. I 

E 7i9 



And here it were fit to leave this point, touching the con- 
currence of military virtue and learning ; (for what example 
would come with any grace after those two of Alexander 
and Caesar?) were it not in regard of the rareness of circum- 
stances that I find in one other particular, as that which did 
so suddenly pass from extreme scorn to extreme wonder; 
and it is of Xenophon the philosopher, who went from 
Socrates' school into Asia, in the expedition of Cyrus the 
younger, against King Artaxerxes. This Xenophon at that 
time was very young, and never had seen the wars before ; 
neither had any command in the army, but only followed 
the war as a voluntary, for the love and conversation of 
Proxenus his friend . 1 He was present when Phalynus came 
' in message from the great king to the Grecians, after that 
Cyrus was slain in the field, and they a handful of men left 
to themselves in the midst of the king's territories, cut off 
from their country by many navigable rivers, and many 
hundred miles. The message imported, that they should 
deliver up their arms, and submit themselves to the king's 
mercy. To which message before answer was made, divers 
of the army conferred familiarly with Phalynus, and 
amongst the rest Xenophon happened to say, Why, Phaly- 
nus, we have now but these two things left, our arms and ] our 
virtue ; and if we yield up our arms, how shall we make use 
of our virtue ? Whereto Phalynus smiling on him, said, 
If I be not deceived, young gentleman, you are an Athenian : 
and, I believe you study philosophy, and it is pretty that you 
say : but you are much abused, if you think your virtue can 
withstand the king's power? Here was the scorn ; the won- 
der followed : which was, that this young scholar or philo- 
sopher, after all the captains were murdered in parley by 
treason, conducted those ten thousand foot through the 
heart of all the king's high countries from Babylon to Graecia 
in safety, in despite of all the king's forces, to the astonish- 
ment of the world, and the encouragement of the Grecians 
in time succeeding to make invasion upon the kings of 
Persia: as was after purposed by Jason the Thessalian, 
attempted by Agesilaus the Spartan, and achieved by 
Alexander the Macedonian, all upon the ground of the act 
of that young scholar. 

To proceed- now from imperial and military virtue to moral 
1 Xen. Anab. ii. ad fin. * Xen. Anab, iL I, 12. 

Advancement of Learning 55 

and private virtue: first, it is an assured truth, which is 
contained in the verses : 

Scilicet ingenuas didicisse fideliter artes, 

Emollit mores, nec sinit esse feros. 1 

It taketh away the wildness and barbarism and fierceness 
of men's minds; but indeed the accent had need be upon 
fideliter : for a little superficial learning doth rather work 
a contrary effect. It taketh away all levity, temerity, and 
insolency, by copious suggestion of all doubts and difficul- 
ties, and acquainting the mind to balance reasons on both 
sides, and to turn back the first offers and conceits of the 
mind, and to accept of nothing but examined and tried. 

It taketh away vain admiration of anything, which is the 
root of all weakness: for all things are admired either 
because they are new, or because they are great. For | 

novelty, no man that wadeth in learning or contemplation J 

thoroughly, but will find that printed in his heart Nil novi 
super terrain? Neither can any man marvel at the play of 
puppets, that goeth behind the curtain, and adviseth well 
of the motion. And for magnitude, as Alexander the Great, 
after that he was used to great armies, and the great con- 
quests of the spacious provinces in Asia, when he received 
letters out of Greece, of some fights and services there, 
which were commonly for a passage or a fort, or some walled 
town at the most, he said, It seemed to him that he was 
advertised of the Battle of the Frogs and the Mice , that the old 
tales went of? So certainly, if a man meditate much upon 
the universal frame of nature, the earth with men upon it 
(the divineness of souls except,) will not seem much other 
than an ant-hill, whereas some ants carry corn, and some 
carry their young, and some go empty, and all to-and-fro a 
little heap of dust. It taketh away or mitigateth fear of 
death, or adverse fortune; which is one of the greatest 
impediments of virtue, and imperfections of manners. For 
if a man's mind be deeply seasoned with the consideration 
of the mortality and corruptible nature of things, he will 
easily concur with Epictetus, who went forth one day and 
saw a woman weeping for her pitcher of earth that was 

1 Ov. Ep. Pont . ii. ix. 47. ^ 2 Eccl. i. 9. 

^Eot/co', w dvdpe s, 3re Aapetop yfAe'is ivuc&fJLev ivravda, €K€in$ iv’ApKadiq. 
yeyovfrcu /xvo/xax^ Plut. Ages. c. 15. 



5 6 

broken; and went forth the next day and saw a woman 
weeping for her son that was dead, and thereupon said: 
Heri vidi fragilem frangi, hodie vidi mortalem mori . 1 And 
therefore Virgil did excellently and profoundly couple the 
knowledge of causes and the conquest of all fears, together, 
as concomitantia : 

Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas, 

Quique metus omnes, et inexorabile fatum 
Subjecit pedibus, strepitumque Acherontis avari.* 

It were too long to go over the particular remedies 
which learning doth minister to all the diseases of the mind; 
sometimes purging the ill-humours, sometimes opening the 
obstructions, sometimes helping digestion, sometimes 
increasing appetite, sometimes healing the wounds and 
exulcerations thereof, and the like; and, therefore, I will 
conclude with that which hath rationem totius, which is, 
that it disposeth the constitution of the mind not to be 
fixed or settled in the defects thereof, but still to be capable 
and susceptible of growth and reformation. For the un- 
learned man knows not what it is to descend into himself, 
or to call himself to account; nor the pleasure of that 
suavissima vita, indies sentire se fieri meliorem . 3 The good 
parts he hath he will learn to show to the full, and use them 
dexterously, but not much to increase them: the faults he 
hath he will learn how to hide and colour them, but not 
much to amend them : like an ill mower, that mows on still, 
and never whets his scythe: whereas with the learned man 
it fares otherwise, that he doth ever intermix the correction 
and amendment of his mind with the use and employment 
thereof. Nay, further, in general and in sum, certain it is 
that Veritas and Bonitas differ but as the seal and the print : 
for Truth prints Goodness ; and they be the clouds of error 
which descend in the storms of passions and perturbations. 

From moral virtue let us pass on to matter of power and 
commandment, and consider whether in right reason there 
be any comparable with that wherewith knowledge invest- 
eth and crowneth man’s nature. We see the dignity of the 
commandment is according to the dignity of the com- 

1 There is no such tale in Epictetus, but see Simplicii in Epict. 
Comment, cap. 33. 

* Virg. Georg, ii. 490. 

* Xen. Mem. i. 6. 

Advancement of Learning 57 

manded: to have commandment over beasts, as herdmen 
have, is a thing contemptible ; to have commandment over 
children, as schoolmasters have, is a matter of small honour; 
to have commandment over galley-slaves is a disparage- 
ment rather than an honour. Neither is the command- 
ment of tyrants much better, over people which have put 
off the generosity of their minds : and therefore it was ever 
holden that honours in free monarchies and commonwealths 
had a sweetness more than in tyrannies; because the com- 
mandment extendeth more over the wills of men, and not 
only over their deeds and services. And therefore, when 
Virgil putteth himself forth to attribute to Augustus Caesar 
the best of human honours, he doth it in these words: 

. Victorque volentes 
Per populos dat jura, viamque affectat Olympo. 1 

But yet the commandment of knowledge is yet higher 
than the commandment over the will; for it is a command- 
ment over the reason, belief, and understanding of man , 
which is the highest part of the mind, and giveth law to the 
will itself. For there is no power on earth which setteth 
up a throne or chair of state in the spirits and souls of men, 
and in their cogitations, imaginations, opinions, and 
beliefs, but knowledge and learning. And therefore we 
see the detestable and extreme pleasure that arch-heretics, 
and false prophets, and impostors are transported with’ 
when they once find in themselves that they have a superior^ 
ity in the faith and conscience of men; so great as if they 
have once tasted of it, it is seldom seen that any torture or 
persecution can make them relinquish or abandon it. But 
as this is that which the author of the Revelation calleth 
the depth or profoundness of Satan : 2 so by argument of 
contraries, the just and lawful sovereignty over men’s 
understanding, by force 3 of truth rightly interpreted, is 
that which approacheth nearest to the similitude of the 
Divine Rule. 

As for fortune and advancement, the beneficence of 
learning is not so confined to give fortune only to states and 
commonwealths, as it doth not likewise give fortune to 
particular persons. For it was well noted long ago, that 

1 Georg, iv. 561, 562. » Rev. ii. 24. 

3 Edition 1605 reads face . 

58 Bacon 

Homer hath given more men their livings, than either Sylla, 
or Csesar, or Augustus ever did, notwithstanding their great 
largesses and donatives, and distributions of lands to so 
man y legions. And no doubt it is hard to say. whether 
arms or learning have advanced greater numbers. And in 
case of sovereignty we see, that if arms or descent have 
carried away the kingdom, yet learning hath carried the 
priesthood, which ever hath been in some competition with 
empire . 1 

Again, for the pleasure and delight of knowledge and 
learning, it far surpasseth all other in nature: for, shall the 
pleasures of the affections so exceed the senses, as much as 
the obtaining of desire or victory exceedeth a song or a 
dinner; and must not, of consequence, the pleasures of the 
intellect or understanding exceed the pleasures of the 
affections? We see in all other pleasures there is satiety, 
and after they be used, their verdure departeth; which 
showeth well they be but deceits of pleasure, and not 
pleasures: and that it was the novelty which pleased, and 
not the quality; and therefore we see that voluptuous men 
turn friars, and ambitious princes turn melancholy. But 
of knowledge there is no satiety, but satisfaction and appe- 
tite are perpetually interchangeable; and therefore appear- 
eth to be good in itself simply, without fallacy or accident. 
Neither is that pleasure of small efficacy and contentment 
to the mind of man which the poet Lucretius describeth 

Suave man magno, turbantibus aequora ventis, etc. 8 

It is a view of delight , saith he, to stand or walk upon the 
shore side , and to see a ship tossed with tempest upon the sea ; 
or to be in a fortified tower , and to see two battles join upon a 
plain ; but it is a pleasure incomparable, for the mind of man 
to be settled, landed, and fortified in the certainty of truth ; 
and from thence to descry and behold the errors, perturbations, 
labours, and wanderings up and down of other men. 

Lastly, leaving the vulgar arguments, that by learning 
man excelleth man in that wherein man excelleth beasts; 
that by learning man ascendeth to the heavens and their 
motions, where in body he cannot come, and the like ; let 
us conclude with the dignity and excellency of knowledge 

1 Cf. Herod, ii. 141, for the ascendency of the Priesthood in 
Egypt. 8 De Rer . Nat. ii. 1-10. 

Advancement of Learning 59 

and learning in that whereunto man’s nature doth most 
aspire, which is, immortality or continuance: for to this 
tendeth generation, and raising of houses and f amili es; to 
this buildings, foundations, and monuments ; to this tendeth 
the desire of memory, fame, and celebration, and in effect 
the strength of all other human desires. We see then how 
far the monuments of wit and learning are more durable 
than the monuments of power or of the hands. For have 
not the verses of Homer continued twenty-five hundred 
years, or more, without the loss of a syllable or letter; dur- 
ing which time, infinite palaces, temples, castles, cities, have 
been decayed and demolished? It is not possible to have 
the true pictures or statues of Cyrus, Alexander, Csesar • no 
nor of the_ kings or great personages of much later years; 
for the originals cannot last, and the copies cannot but 
leese of the life and truth. But the images of men’s wits 
and knowledges remain in books, exempted from the wrong 
of time, and capable of perpetual renovation. Neither are 
they fitly to be called images, because they generate still, 
and cast their seeds in the minds of others, provoking and 
causing infinite actions and opinions in succeeding ages: 
so that, if the invention of the ship was thought so noble," 
which carrieth riches and commodities from place to place' 
and consociateth the most remote regions in participation of 
their fruits, how much more are letters to be magnified, 
which, as ships, pass through the vast seas of time, and make 
ages so distant to participate of the wisdom, illuminations, 
and inventions, the one of the other? Nay further, we see 
some of the philosophers which were least divine, and most 
immersed in the senses, and denied generally the immor- 
tality of the soul, yet came to this point, that whatsoever 
motions the spirit of man could act and perform without 
the organs of the body, they thought might remain after 
death, which were only those of the understanding, and not 
of the affection: so immortal and incorruptible a thing did 
knowledge seem unto them to be. But we, that know by 
divine revelation that not only the understanding but the 
affections purified, not only the spirit but the body changed, 
shall be advanced to immortality, do disclaim in 1 these 

1 So all three editions. The Latin has Nos autevn . . . concul- 
cantes hcsc rudimenta . . . novimus. Perhaps in should be omitted 
— “ do disclaim these rudiments of the senses.” 



rudiments of the senses. But it must be remembered both 
in this last point, and so it may likewise be needful in other 
places, that in probation of the dignity of knowledge or 
learning, I did in the beginning separate divine testimony 
from human, which method I have pursued, and so handled 
them both apart. 

Nevertheless, I do not pretend, and I know it will be 
impossible for me, by any pleading of mine, to reverse the 
judgment, either of .Esop’s Cock, that preferred the barley- 
corn before the gem; or of Midas, that being chosen judge 
between Apollo, president of the Muses, and Pan, god of the 
flocks, judged for plenty : 1 or of Paris, that judged for 
beauty and love against wisdom and power; nor of Agrip- 
pina, Occidat matrem , modo imperet , that preferred empire 
with conditions never so detestable ; 2 or of Ulysses, Qui 
vetulam prcetulit immortalitati , 3 being a figure of those which 
prefer custom and habit before all excellency; or of a num- 
ber of the like popular judgments. For these things con- 
tinue as they have been: but so will that also continue 
whereupon learning hath ever relied, and which faileth not : 
Justificata est sapientia a filiis suis. A 

i Ov. Met. xi. 153, seq. * Tacit. AnnaL xiv. 9. 

3 Cf. Cic. de Or at. i. 44, where it is Ithaca, not his old wife, that 
Ulysses is said to prefer to immortality. 

♦Matt, xi 19. 

Advancement of Learning 61 


To the King 

It might seem to have more convenience, though it come 
often otherwise to pass, excellent King, that those, which 
are fruitful in their generations, and have in themselves the 
foresight of immortality in their descendants, should like- 
wise be more careful of the good estate of future times, unto 
which they know they must transmit and commend over 
their dearest pledges. Queen Elizabeth was a sojourner 
in the world in respect of her unmarried life, and was a 
blessing to her own times ; and yet so as the impression of 
her good government, besides her happy memory, is not 
r without some effect which doth survive her. But to your 
Majesty, whom God hath already blessed with so much 
royal issue, worthy to continue and represent you for ever, 
and whose youthful and fruitful bed doth yet promise many 
of the like renovations ; it is proper and agreeable to be con- 
1 versant not only in the transitory parts of good government, 
but in those acts also which are in their nature permanent 
and perpetual: amongst the which, if affection do not 
transport me, there is not amvJiiQre- worthy thaaihe .further 
endowment of the world with..Si mndmd,fmiiM knowledge. 
JcFwEy should* alew received authors stand up like Her- 
cules' columns , 1 beyond which there should be no sailing 
or discovering, since we have so bright and benign a star 
as your Majesty to conduct and prosper us? To return 
therefore where we left, it remaineth to consider of what 
kind those acts are which have been undertaken and per- 
, formed by kings and others for the increase and advance- 
ment of learning: wherein I purpose to speak actively 
without digressing or dilating. 

Let this ground therefore be laid, that all works are over- 
come by amplitude of reward, by soundness of direction, 

1 A favourite thought of Bacon’s, and expressed afterwards on 
the engraved title-page of the first edition of the Novum Organum, 
A.D. 1620. 



and by the conjunction of labours. The first multiplieth 
endeavour, the second preventeth error, and the third 
supplieth the frailty of man: but the principal of these is 
direction : for Claudus in via antevertit cursor em extra viam ; 
and Salomon excellently setteth it down, If the iron he not 
sharp , it requireth more strength ; but wisdom is that which 
prevaileth ; 1 signifying that the inven tion or election of the 
mean is more .effectual . than, any inforcement or accumula- 
tion of ende a vour s. This I am induced to speak, for that 
(not derogating from the noble intention of any that have 
been deservers towards the state of learning) I do observe, 
nevertheless, that their works and acts are rather matters of 
magnificence and memory, than of progression and pro- 
ficience; and tend rather to augment the mass of learning 
in the multitude of learned men, than to rectify or raise the 
sciences themselves. 

The works or acts of nie ritiowardsJearning are con ver - 
sant abou t three objects: the places of learning, the books 
pf.learning r and the persons of the learned. For as watery 
whether it be the "Hew of heaven, or the" springs of the earth, 
doth scatter and leese itself in the ground, except it be 
collected into some receptacle, where it may by union com- 
fort and sustain itself, (and for that cause the industry of 
man hath made and framed spring-heads, conduits, cisterns, 
and pools, which men have accustomed likewise to beautify 
and adorn with accomplishments of magnificence and state, 
as well as of use and necessity) so this excellent liquor of 
knowledge, whether it descend from divine inspiration, or 
spring from human sense, would soon perish and vanish to 
oblivion, if it were not preserved in books, traditions, con- 
ferences, and places appointed, as universities, colleges, and 
schools, for the receipt and comforting of the same. 

The works whic h concern, the seats-,and. p laces of learning 
fn are -Jour; foundations and buildings, en dowmen ts with 
revenues, endqymenl5- with f ran chises, and privile ges , insti- 
tutions and ordina nce s for govern ment: all tending to 
quietness and privateness of life, and discharge of cares and 
troubles; much like the stations which Virgil prescribeth 
for the hiving of bees : 

Principio sedes apibus statioque petenda. 

Quo neque fit ventis aditus, etc. 2 

1 Eccl. x. io. 2 Virg. Georg, iv. 8. 

Advancement of Learning 63 

(Ji) ThejyorJss^ : first, librar ies, which 

are as the shrines where all the relics of the ancient saints, 
full of true virtue, and that without delusion or imposture, 
are preserved and reposed: secondly, new editions of 
authors, with more correct impressions, more faithful trans- 
i Tations, more profitable glosses, more diligent annotations, 
and the like. 

(}ii ) The works pertaining to t he^persons. of.... learned men. 

besides the advancement and countenancing of them in 

general, are Two : the rew ard and designatioriof readers in 

scie nces already extant and invented; and th e reward and 
desig nation of writ ers . and i nquirers concerning- any parts 
of le arning not sufficients^ 

These are summarily the works and acts, wherein the 
merits of many excellent princes and other worthy person- 
ages have been conversant. As for any particular com- 
memorations, I call to mind what Cicero said, when he gave 
general thanks; Difficile non aliquem, ingratum quenquam 
% prceterire . 1 Let us rather, according to the Scriptures , 2 look 

unto that part of the race which is before us than look back 
to that which is already attained. 

First, therefore, amongst so many great foundations of 
colleges in Europe, I find it strange that they are all dedi- 
cated to professions, and none left free to arts and sciences 
at large. For if men judge that learning should be referred 
to action, they judge well; but in this they fall into the 
t. error described in the ancient fable , 3 in which the other parts 
of the body did suppose the stomach had been idle, because 
it neither performed the office of motion, as the limbs do, 
nor of sense, as the head doth; but yet, notwithstanding, 
it is the stomach that digesteth and distributeth to all the 
rest : so if any man think philosophy and universality to be 
idle studies, he doth not consider that all professions are 
from thence served and supplied. And this I take to be a 
great cause that hath hindered the progression of learning, 
because these fundamental knowledges have been studied 
but in passage. For if you will have a tree bear more fruit 
than it hath used to do, it is not anything you can do to the 

1 Orat. post Redit. in Sen. xii. 30, which in Bacon's day was 
counted genuine. The actual passage is something stronger, for it 
has nefas instead of ingratum . 

2 Philip, iii. 13. 

* Liv. ii. 32. 









boughs, but it is the stirring of the earth and putting new 
mould about the roots that must work it. Neither is it to 
be forgotten, that this dedicating of foundations and dota- 
tions to professory learning hath not only had a malign 
aspect and influence upon the growth of sciences, but hath 
also been prejudicial to states and governments. For 
hence it proceedeth that princes find a solitude in regard of 
able men to serve them in causes of state, because there is 
no education collegiate which is free; where such as were 
so disposed might give themselves to histories, modern 
languages, books of policy and civil discourse, and other the 
like enablements unto service of estate. 

And because Founders of Colleges do plant, and Founders 
of Lectures do water, it followeth well in order to speak of 
the defect which is in public lectures; namely, in the small- 
ness and meanness of the salary or reward which in most 
places is assigned unto them ; whether they be lectures of 
arts, or of professions. For it is necessary to the progres- 
sion of sciences that Readers be of the most able and suffi- 
cient men; as those which are ordained for generating and 
propagating of sciences, and not for transitory use. This 
cannot be, except their condition and endowment be such 
as may content the ablest man to appropriate his whole 
labour and continue his whole age in that function and 
attendance; and therefore must have a proportion answer- 
able to that mediocrity or competency of advancement, 
which may be expected from a profession or the practice of 
a profession. So as, if you will have sciences flourish, you 
must observe David's military law, which was, That those 
which staid with the carriage should have equal part with those 
which were in the action ; 1 else will the carriages be ill 
attended. So Readers in sciences are indeed the guardians 
of the stores and provisions of sciences, whence men in 
active courses are furnished, and therefore ought to have 
equal entertainment with them : otherwise if the fathers in 
sciences be of the weakest sort, or be ill-maintained, 

Et patrum invalidi referent jejunia nati. 2 

Another defect I note, wherein I shall need some alche- 
mist to help me, who call upon men to sell their books, and 
to build furnaces; quitting and forsaking Minerva and the 
1 1 Sam. xxx. 22. a Virg. Georg . iii. 128. 

Advancement of Learning 65 

Muses as barren virgins, and relying upon Vulcan . 1 But 
certain it is, that unto the deep, fruitful, and operative 
study of many sciences, especially Natural Philosophy and 
Physic, books be not the only instrumentals; wherein also 
the beneficence of men hath not been altogether wanting: 
for we see spheres, globes, astrolabes, maps, and the like, 
have been provided as appurtenances to astronomy and 
cosmography, as well as books: we see likewise that some 
places instituted for physic have annexed the commodity 
of gardens for simples of all sorts, and do likewise command 
the use of dead bodies for anatomies. But these do respect 
but a few things. In general, there will hardly be any main 
proficience in the disclosing of nature, except there be some 
allowance for expenses about experiments; whether they 
be experiments appertaining to Vulcanus or Daedalus, 
furnace or engine, or any other kind: and therefore as 
secretaries and spials of princes and states bring in bills for 
intelligence, so you must allow the spials and intelligencers 
of nature to bring in their bills; or else you shall be ill 

And if Alexander made such a liberal assignation to 
Aristotle of treasure 2 for the allowance of hunters, fowlers, 
fishers, and the like, that he might compile a History of 
Nature, much better do they deserve it that travail in 
Arts of Nature . 3 

Another defect which I note, is an intermission or neglect 
in those which are governors in universities, of consultation; 
and in princes or superior persons, of visitation: to enter 
into account and consideration, whether the readings, 

1 See Nov. Org. ii. 7 : “ Transeundum plane a Vulcano ad Miner- 
vam, si in animo sit veras corporum texturas et schematismos 
... in lucem protrahere.” 

* iElian, Var. Hist . iv. 19, says that Philip held him, and Athenaeus, 
ix. 398 f., states the amount said to have been allowed him by 
Alexander, 800 talents. But Bacon takes his statement here from 
Plin. Nat. Hist. viii. 17. 

3 The Latin has for " travail in arts of Nature,” “ in labyrinthis 
artium viant sibi aperiunt” — where Art is opposed to Nature. So 
that the phrase ” Arts of Nature ” must be modified to mean " Arts 
concerned with Nature.” Or, possibly, there is some mistake in 
the reading. All the old editions have travailes. If the reading is 
correct, the sense will be that they who lay down rules and general 
principles of Arts in things Natural are worthy of higher reward 
than are they who only collect Histories, i.e. catalogues or registers 
of detached facts. 



exercises, and other customs appertaining unto learning, 
anciently begun, and since continued, be well instituted or 
no ; and thereupon to ground an amendment or reformation 
in that which shall be found inconvenient. For it is one 
of your majesty's own most wise and princely maxims, 
That in all usages and precedents , the times he considered 
wherein they first began ; which , if they were weak or ignorant, 
it derogateth from the authority of the usage, and leaveth it for 
suspect. And therefore inasmuch as most of the usages 
and orders of the universities were derived from more 
obscure times, it is the more requisite they be re-examined. 
In this kind I will give an instance or two, for example sake, 
of things that are the most obvious and familiar. The one 
is a matter, which though it be ancient and general, yet I 
hold to be an error; which is, that scholars in universities 
come too soon and too unripe to logic and rhetoric arts 
fitter for graduates than children and novices: for these 
two, rightly taken, are the gravest of sciences, being the 
arts of arts; the one for judgment, the other for ornament: 
and they be the rules and directions how to set forth and 
dispose matter; and therefore for minds empty and un- 
fraught with matter, and which have not gathered that 
which Cicero calleth Sylva and Supellex, 1 stuff and variety, 
to begin with those arts (as if one should learn to weigh, 
or to measure, or to paint the wind), doth work but this 
effect, that the wisdom of those arts, which is great and 
universal, is almost made contemptible, and is degenerate 
into childish sophistry and ridiculous affectation. And 
further, the untimely learning of them hath drawn on, by 
consequence, the superficial and unprofitable teaching and 
writing of them, as fitteth indeed to the capacity of children. 
Another is a lack I find in the exercises used in the Univer- 
sities, which do make too great a divorce between invention 
and memory ; for their speeches are either premeditate, In 
verbis conceptis, where nothing is left to invention, or merely 
extemporal, where little is left to memory: whereas in life 
and action there is least use of either of these, but rather 
of intermixtures of premeditation and invention, notes 
and memory; so as the exercise fitteth not the practice, 
nor the image the life; and it is ever a true rule in exercises, 
that they be framed as near as may be to the life of practice; 

1 Sylva , de Orat. iii. 26 (103). Supellex , Orat. 24 (80). 

Advancement of Learning 67 

for otherwise they do pervert the motions and faculties of 
the mind, and not prepare them. The truth whereof is not 
obscure, when scholars come to the practices of professions, 
or other actions of civil life ; which when they set into, this 
want is soon found by themselves, and sooner by others. 
But this part, touching the amendment of the institutions 
and orders of Universities, I will conclude with the clause of 
Caesar s letter to Oppius and Balbus, Hoc quemadmodum 
fieri possit, nonnulla mihi in mentem veniunt , et multa 
reperiri possunt ; de Us rebus rogo vos ut cogitationem 
suscipiatis . 1 

Another defect which I note, ascendeth a little higher 
than the precedent : for as the proficience of learning con- 
sisted much in the orders and institutions of Universities 
in the same states and kingdoms, so it would be yet more 
advanced, if there were more intelligence mutual between 
the Universities of Europe than now there is. We see there 
may be many orders and foundations, which though they 
be divided under several sovereignties and territories, yet 
they take themselves to have a kind of contract, fraternity, 
and correspondence one with the other; insomuch as they 
have provincials and generals. And surely, as nature 
created brotherhood in families, and arts mechanical con- 
tract brotherhoods in commonalties, and the anointment 
of God superinduceth a brotherhood in kings and bishops ; 
so in like manner there cannot but be a fraternity in learn- 
ing and illumination, relating to that paternity which is 
attributed to God, who is called the Father of illuminations 
or lights . 2 

The last defect which I will note is, that there hath not 
been, or very rarely been, any public designation of writers 
or inquirers concerning such parts of knowledge as may _ 
appear not to have been already sufficiently laboured or 
undertaken; unto which point it is an inducement to enter 
into a view and examination what parts of learning have 
been prosecuted, and what omitted: for the opinion of 
plenty is among the causes of want, and the great quantity 
of books maketh a show rather of superfluity than lack; 
which surcharge, nevertheless, is not to be remedied by 
making no more books, but by making more good books, 

1 Cic. ad Att . ix. 7, c. 

2 J ames i. 1 7. 

68 Bacon 

which, as the serpent of Moses, might devour the serpents 
of the enchanters . 1 

The removing of all the defects formerly enumerated, 
except the last, and of the active part also of the last 
(which is the designation of writers), are opera basilica ; 
towards which the endeavours of a private man may be 
but as an image in a crossway, that may point at the way, 
but cannot go it: but the inducing part of the latter, which 
is the survey of learning, may be set forward by private 
travail. Wherefore I will now attempt to make a general 
and faithful perambulation of learning, with an inquiry 
what parts thereof lie fresh and waste, and not improved 
and converted by the industry of man ; to the end that such 
a plot made and recorded to memory, may both minister 
light to any public designation, and also serve to excite 
voluntary endeavours: wherein, nevertheless, my purpose 
is at this time to note only omissions and deficiencies, and 
not to make any redargution of errors or incomplete prose- 
cutions; for it is one thing to set forth what ground lieth 
unmanured, and another thing to correct ill husbandry in 
that which is manured. 

In the handling and undertaking of which work I am not 
ignorant what it is that I do now move and attempt, nor 
insensible of mine own weakness to sustain my purpose; 
but my hope is, that if my extreme love to learning carry 
me too far, I may obtain the excuse of affection ; for that It 
is not granted to man to love and to be wise. 2 But I know well 
I can use no other liberty of judgment than I must leave to 
others; and I for my part shall be indifferently glad either 
to perform myself, or accept from another, that duty of 
humanity; Nam qui err anti comiter monstrat viam, etc ? I 
do foresee likewise that of those things which I shall enter 
and register as deficiencies and omissions, many will con- 
ceive and censure that some of them are already done and 
extant ; others to be but curiosities, and things of no great 
use; and others to be of too great difficulty, and almost 
impossibility to be compassed and effected. But for the 
two first, I refer myself to the particulars; for the last, 
touching impossibility, I take it those things are to be held 

1 Exod. vii. 10. It was Aaron's rod that became a serpent. 

4 Publ. Syr. Sentent. 166: Amare et sapere vix Deo conceditur. 

3 Ennuis, quoted by Cic. de Off. i. 16 (5). 

Advancement of Learning 69 

possible which may be done by some person, though not 
by every one; and which may be done by many, though 
not by any one; and which may be done in the succession 
of ages, though not within the hour-glass of one man's life; 
and which may be done by public designation, though not 
by private endeavour. But, notwithstanding, if any man 
will take to himself rather that of Salomon, Dicit piger, Leo 
est in via / than that of Virgil, Possunt quia posse videntur , 2 
I shall be content that my labours be esteemed but as the 
better sort of wishes: for as it asketh some knowledge to 
demand a question not impertinent, so it required some 
sense to make a wish not absurd. 

The parts of human learning have reference to the three 
parts of man's understanding, which is the seat of learning: 
history to his memory , poesy to his imagination , and philo- 
sophy to his reason . Divine learning receiveth the same 
distribution ; for the spirit of man is the same, though the 
revelation of oracle and sense be diverse: so as theology 
consist eth also of the history of the church; of parables , 
which is divine poesy ; and of holy doctrine or precept : for 
as for that part which seemeth supernumerary, which is 
prophecy , it is but Divine History ; which hath that preroga- 
tive over human, as the narration may be before the fact 
as well as after. 

History is natural, civil, eccle siastical, and literary : whereof 

the~Srst as”* extant, the fourth I note as 

deficient. For no man hath propounded to himself the K*j 
general state of learning to be described and represented 
from age to age, as many have done the works of nature, i 
and the state civil and ecclesiastical; without which the r 
history of the world seemeth to me to be as the statua o f 
Polyphemus with his eye out; that parTFSng wanting 
whlchdotE mosrsEowTKrspmt and life of the person: and 
yet I am not ignorant that in divers particular sciences, as 
of the jurisconsults, the mathematicians, the rhetoricians, 
the philosophers, there are set down some small memorials 
of the schools, authors, and books ; and so likewise some 
barren relations touching the invention of arts or usages. 

1 Prov. xxii. 13. 2 Virg. Mn. v. 231. £ 



But a just story of learning, containing the antiquities and 
originals of knowledges and their sects, their inventions, 
their traditions, their diverse administrations and manag- 
ings, their flourishings, their oppositions, decays, depres- 
sions, oblivions, removes, with the causes and occasions of 
them, and all other events concerning learning, throughout 
the ages of the world, I may truly affirm to be wanting. 
The use and end of which work I do not so much design for 
curiosity or satisfaction of those that are the lovers of 
learning, but chiefly for a more serious and grave purpose; 
which is this in few words, that it will make learned men 
wise in the use and administration of learning. For it is 
not St. Augustine's nor St. Ambrose's works that will make 
so wise a divine, as ecclesiastical history, thoroughly read 
and observed; and the same reason is of learning. 

History of nature is of three sorts ; of nature in course , of 
nature erring or varying , and of nature altered or wrought; 
that is, history of creatures , history of marvels , and history of 
t ^ ,arts . The first of these, no doubt, is extant, and that in 
« P er fe ct i° n i the two latter are handled so weakly and 
|K’ unprofit ably, as I am moved to note them as deficient. 

For I find no sufficient or competent collection of the works 
^ of nature which have a digression and deflection from the 
ordinary course of generations, productions, and motions; 
whether they be singularities of place and region, or the 
strange events of time and chance, or the effects of yet 
unknown properties, or the instances of exception to 
general kinds. It is true, I find a number of books of 
fabulous experiments and secrets, and frivolous impostures 
for pleasure and strangeness; but a substantial and severe 
collection of the heteroclites or irregulars of nature f well 
examined and described, I find not: especially not*with due 
rejection of fables and popular errors: for as things now are, 
if an untruth in nature be once on foot, what by reason of 
the neglect of examination and countenance of antiquity, 
and what by reason of the use of the opinion in similitudes 
and ornaments of speech, it is never called down. 

The use of this work, honoured with a precedent in Aris- 
) tole , 2 is nothing less than to give contentment to the appe- 

1 Cf. Nov. Org. i. 45, and ii. 28. These “ instances of exception to 
general kinds he there terms instantite monodiccs, quas etiam 
irregulares live heteroclitas appellare consnevimns. 

2 De Mifis Auscultationibus; (da.vfM&oria dKoticr/xara), see p. 30. 

Advancement of Learning 71 

tite of curious and vain wits, as the manner of Mirabilaries 1 
is to do ; but for two reasons, both of great weight ; the one 
to correct the partiality of axioms and opinions, which are 
commonly framed only upon common and familiar ex- 
amples; the other because from the wonders of nature is the 
nearest intelligence and passage towards the wonders of art : 1 

for it is no more but by following, and as it were hounding 
nature in her wanderings, to be able to lead her afterwards 1 

to the same place again. Neither am I of opinion, in this ! 

history of marvels, that superstitious narrations of sorceries, 
witchcrafts, dreams, divinations, and the like, where there 
is an assurance and clear evidence of the fact, be altogether 
excluded. For it is not yet known in what cases and 
how far effects attributed to superstition do participate of j 

natural causes : and therefore howsoever the practice of such 
things is to be condemned, yet from the speculation and 
consideration of them light may be taken, not only for the 
discerning of the offences, but for the further disclosing of 
nature. Neither ought a man to make scruple of entering , 

into these things for inquisition of truth, as your majesty I 

hath showed in your own example ; who with the two clear 
eyes of religion and natural philosophy have looked deeply 
and wisely into these shadows, and yet proved yourself to j 

be of the nature of the sun, which passeth through pollutions 
. and itself remains as pure as before. 2 But this I hold fit, 
that these narrations, which have mixture with supersti- 
tion, be sorted by themselves, and not be mingled with the 
narrations which are merely and sincerely natural. But as 
for the narrations touching the prodigies and miracles of 
religions, they are either not true, or not natural ; and there- 
fore impertinent for the story of nature. 

For history of nature wrought or mechanical , I find some 
collections made of agriculture, and likewise of manual arts; . |/i , 
but commonly with a rejection of experiments familiar 
and vulgar. For it is esteemed a kind of dishonour untov^jL* 
learning to descend to inquiry or meditation upon matters"' 
mechanical, except they be such as may be thought secrets, 

1 Mirabilaries. In De Augm, Sc. ii., he calls them " Mirabilarii 
et prodigiastri.” 

a Cf. Nov. Org. i. 1 20. This thought is to be met with in Chaucer, 
Persone’s Tale : “ Certes, Holy Writ may not be defouled, no more 
than the sonne that shineth on the myxene.” 


72 Bacon 

rarities, and special subtilities; which humour of vain and 
supercilious arrogancy is justly derided in Plato; where 
he brings in Hippias, a vaunting sophist, disputing with 
Socrates, a true and unfeigned inquisitor of truth; where 
the subject being touching beauty, Socrates, after his 
wandering manner of inductions, put first an example of a 
fair virgin, and then of a fair horse, and then of a fair pot 
well glazed, whereat Hippias was offended, and said, More 
than for courtesy's sake , he did think much to dispute with any 
that did allege such base and sordid instances : whereunto 
Socrates answered, You have reason , and it becomes you well, 
being a man so trim in your vestments, etc., and so goeth on in 
an irony . 1 But the truth is, they be not the highest in- 
stances that give the securest information; as may be well 
expressed in the tale so common of the philosopher , 2 that 
while he gazed upwards to the stars fell into the water; for 
if he had looked down he might have seen the stars in the 
water, but looking aloft he could not see the water in the 
stars. So it cometh often to pass, that mean and small 
things discover great, better than great can discover the 
small: and therefore Aristotle noteth well, That the nature 
of everything is best seen in its smallest portions. And for 
that cause he inquireth the nature of a commonwealth, first 
in a family, and the simple conjugations of man and wife, 
parent and child, master and servant, which are in every 
cottage . 3 Even so likewise the nature of this great city of 
the world, and the policy thereof, must be first sought in 
mean concordances and small portions. So we see how 
that secret of nature, of the turning of iron touched with the 
loadstone towards the north, was found out in needles of 
iron, not in bars of iron. 

But if my judgment be of any weight, the use of history 
mechanical is of all others the most radical and fundamental 
towards natural philosophy; such natural philosophy as 
shall not vanish in the fume of subtile, sublime, or delectable 
speculation, but such as shall be operative to the endow- 
ment and benefit of man’s life: for it will not only minister 
and suggest for the present many ingenious practices in all 
trades, by a connection and transferring of the observations 

1 Plato, Bipp. Map iii. 288 and 291. 

2 Thales. See Plat. Thecet. i. 174. 

9 Aristot. Polit. I. iii. 1, and Phys . i. 

Advancement of Learning 73 

of one art to the use of another, when the experiences of 
several mysteries shall fall under the consideration of one 
man's mind; but further, it will give a more true and real 
illumination concerning causes and axioms than is hitherto 
attained. For like as a man's disposition is never well 
known till he be crossed, nor Proteus ever changed shapes 
till he was straitened and held fast ; 1 so the passages and 
variations of nature cannot appear so fully in the liberty of 
nature, as in the trials and vexations of art. 

For civil history , it is of three kinds; not unfitly to be 
compared with the" three kinds of pictures or images: for 
of pictures or images, we see some are unfinished, some are 
perfect, and some are defaced. So of histories we may find 
three kinds, memorials , perfect histories, and antiquities; for 
memorials are history unfinished, or the first or rough 
draughts of history; and antiquities are history defaced, 
or some remnants of history which have casually escaped 
the shipwreck of time. 

Memorials , or preparatory history, are of two sorts; 
wKereoftEe* one may be termed commentaries , and the other 
registers . Commentaries^ are they which set down a continu-/- % 
ance of the'Tmfced events and actions, without the motives^ / 
or designs, the counsels, the speeches, the pretexts, the 
occasions and other passages of action : for this is the true 
nature of a commentary; though Caesar, in modesty mixed 
with greatness, did for his pleasure apply the name of a 
commentary to the best history of the world. Register s 
are collections of public acts, as decrees of council, judicial 
proceedings, declarations and letters of state, orations and 
the like, without a perfect continuance or contexture of 
the thread of the narration. 

Antiquities ;, or remnants of history, are, as was said, 
Tanquam tabula naufragii ; 2 when industrious persons by 
an exact and scrupulous diligence and observation, out of 
monuments, names, words, proverbs, traditions, private 
records and evidences, fragments of stories, passages of 
books that concern not story , 3 and the like, do save and 
recover somewhat from the deluge of time. 

In these kinds of unperfect histories I do assign no defici- 

1 Virg. Georg, iv. 387, sqq. 

* “ As was said; ” referred to the last page. Cf. Nov. Org. i. 77. 

3 Storv here = history : ** librorum neutiquam historicomm. ,, 



ence, for they are Tanquam imperfecte mista ,* and therefore 
any deficience in them is but their nature. As for the cor- 
ruptions and moths of history, which are epitomes , the use 
of them deserveth to be banished, as all men of sound judg- 
ment have confessed; as those that have fretted and cor- 
roded the sound bodies of many excellent histories, and 
wrought them into base and unprofitable dregs . 1 

History, which may be called just and perfect history, h 
of three kinds, according to the object which it propoundeth 
or pretendeth to represent : for it either representeth a time , 
or a person , or an action . The first we call chronicles , the 
second lives , and the third narrations or relations . Of these, 
although the first be the most complete and absolute kind 
of history, and hath most estimation and glory, yet the 
second excelleth it in profit and use, and the third in verity 
and sincerity. For history of times representeth the magni- 
tude of actions, and the public faces and deportments of 
persons, and passeth over in silence the smaller passages 
and motions of men and matters. But such being the 
workmanship of God, as He doth hang the greatest weight 
upon the smallest wires, Maxima e minimis suspendens 2 
it comes therefore to pass, that such histories do rather set 
forth the pomp of business than the true and inward resorts 
thereof. But lives , if they be well written, propounding 
to themselves a person to represent in whom actions both 
greater and smaller, public and private, have a commixture, 
must of necessity contain a more true, native, and lively 
representation. So again narrations and relations of 
actions, as the war of Peloponnesus, the expedition of 
Cyrus Minor, the conspiracy of Catiline, cannot but be 
more purely and exactly true than histories of times, 
because they may choose an argument comprehensible 
within the notice and instructions of the writer: whereas 
he that undertaketh the story of a time, especially of any 
length, cannot but meet with many blanks and spaces 
which he must be forced to fill up out of his own wit and 

For the History of Times, I mean of Civil History, the 
providence of God hath made the distribution: for it hath 
pleased God to ordain and illustrate two exemplar states 

1 As in the Epitomes written in the decline of Latin Literature. 

* job xxvi. 7. “ Qui appendit terram super nihilum.” 

Advancement of Learning 75 j 

of the world for arms, learning, moral virtue, policy, and 
laws; the state of Grcecia, and the state of Rome; the 1 

histories whereof occupying the middle part of time, have 
more ancient to them, histories which may by one common 
name be termed the antiquities of the world : and after them 
histories which may be likewise called by the name of 
modern history . 

Now to speak of the deficiencies. As to the heathen 
antiquities of the world, it is in vain to note them for defici- 
ent : deficient they are no doubt, consisting most of fables 
and fragments; but the deficience cannot be holpen; for ' 

antiquity is like fame, Caput inter nubila condit, 1 her head 
is muffled from our sight. For the history of the exemplar 
states , it is extant in good perfection. Not but I could wish i 

there were a perfect course of history for Grsecia from ; 

Theseus to Philopoemen (what time the affairs of Grsecia 
were drowned and extinguished in the affairs of Rome) ; 
and for Rome from Romulus to Justinianus, who may be > 

truly said to be Ultimus Romanorum . 2 In which sequences of | 

story the text of Thucydides and Xenophon in the one, and j 

the texts of Livius, Polybius, Sallustius, Caesar, Appianus, | 

Tacitus, Herodianus in the other, to be kept entire with- 
out any diminution at all, and only to be supplied and 
continued. But this is a matter of magnificence, rather to 
be commended than required: and we speak now of parts j 

of learning supplemental and not of supererogation. 

But for modern histories , whereof there are some few very 
worthy, but the greater part beneath mediocrity, (leaving the 
care of foreign stories to foreign states, because I will not be 
curiosus in aliena republican ) I cannot fail to represent to 
your majesty the unworthiness of the history of England in 
the main continuance thereof, and the partiality and obli- 
quity of that of Scotland in the latest and largest author that 
I have seen : 4 supposing that it would be honour for your 
Majesty, and a work very memorable, if this island of Great 
Britain, as it is now joined in monarchy for the ages to come, 

1 Virg. Mn. iv. 177. j 

2 Said of Cassius, Tac. Ann. iv. 34: “ Cremutius Cordus postu- i 

latur, . . . quod C. Cassium Romanorum ultimum dixisset.” Cf. 

Plut. Brutus, 43. Suet. Tib. 61, who attributes it to both Brutus 
and Cassius. 

3 Cic. Off. i. 34. ! 

4 Buchanan, for whom King James had no love. j 


76 Bacon 

so were joined in one history for the times passed ; after the 
manner of the Sacred History, which draweth down the 
story of the ten tribes, and of the two tribes, as twins, 
together. And if it shall seem that the greatness of this 
work may make it less exactly performed, there is an excel- 
lent period of a much smaller compass of time, as to the 
story of England; that is to say, from the uniting of the 
Roses to the uniting of the kingdoms; a portion of time, 
wherein, to my understanding, there hath been the rarest 
varieties that in like number of successions of any heredi- 
tary monarchy hath been known. For it beginneth with 
the mixed adoption of a crown by arms and title: an entry 
by battle, an establishment by marriage, and therefore 
times answerable, like waters after a tempest, full of work- 
ing and swelling, though without extremity of storm; but 
well passed through by the wisdom of the pilot, being one 
of the most sufficient kings of all the number. Then folio w- 
eth the reign of a king, whose actions, howsoever conducted, 
had much intermixture with the affairs of Europe, balancing 
and inclining them variably; in whose time also began that 
great alteration in the state ecclesiastical, an action which 
seldom cometh upon the stage. Then the reign of a minor: 
then an offer of a usurpation, though it was but as febris 
ephemera . Then the reign of a queen matched with a 
foreigner: then of a queen that lived solitary and un- 
married, and yet her government so masculine, that it had 
greater impression and operation upon the states abroad 
than it any ways received from thence. And now last, 
this most happy and glorious event, that this island of 
Britain, divided from all the world , 1 should be united in 
itself: and that oracle of rest, given to iEneas, antiquum 
exquirite matrem , 2 should now be performed and fulfilled 
upon the nations of England and Scotland, being now 
reunited in the ancient mother name of Britain, as a full 
period of all instability and peregrinations. So that as it 
cometh to pass in massive bodies, that they have certain 
trepidations and waverings before they fix and settle ; so it 
seemeth that by the providence of God this monarchy, 
before it was to settle in your majesty and your generations, 
(in which I hope it is now established for ever,) had these 
prelusive changes and varieties. 

1 Virg. Ed. 1. 67. 

2 Virg. En. iii. 96. 

Advancement of Learning 77 

For lives , I do find it strange that these times have so 
little esteemed the virtues of the times, as that the writing 
of lives should be no more frequent. For although there 
be not many sovereign princes or absolute commanders, 
and that states are most collected into monarchies, yet are 
there many worthy personages that deserve better than 
dispersed report or barren elogies. For herein the inven- 
tion of one of the late poets 1 is proper, and doth well enrich 
the ancient fiction: for he feigneth that at the end of the 
thread or web of every man's life there was a little medal 
containing the person's name, and that Time waited upon 
the shears; and as soon as the thread was cut, caught the 
medals, and carried them to the river of Lethe; and about 
the bank there were many birds flying up and down, that 
would get the medals and carry them in their beak a little 
while, and then let them fall into the river: only there were 
a few swans, which if they got a name, would carry it to a 
temple where it was consecrate. And although many men, 
more mortal in their affections than in their bodies, do 
esteem desire of name and memory but as a vanity and 

Animi nil magnae laudis egentes; 2 

which opinion cometh from that root, Non prius laudes 
contempsimus, quam laudanda facere desivimus : 3 yet that 
will not alter Salomon’s judgment, Memoria justi cum 
laudibus, at impiomm nomen putrescet : 4 the one flourisheth, 
the other either consumeth to present oblivion, or turneth 
to an ill odour. And therefore in that style or addition, 
which is and hath been long well received and brought in 
use, Felicis Memorize, pice memorice, bonce memorize , we do 
acknowledge that which Cicero saith, borrowing it from 
Demosthenes, that Bona fama propria possessio defunc - 
torum ; 5 which possession I cannot but note that in our times 
it lieth much waste, and that therein there is a deficience. 

1 Ariosto, Orlando Furioso, end of bk. 34, and opening of bk. 35. 
(See Ellis’ and Spedding’s edition of the De Augm. Sc.) 

2 Virg. Mn. v. 751. 

3 Plin. Ep. iii. 21 : " Postquam desiimus facere laudanda, laudari 

quoque ineptum putamus.” Were Bacon’s quotations usually from 
memory ? 4 Prov. x. 7. ^ 

5 Cic. Philip, ix.: “ Vita enim mortuorum in memoria vivorum 
est posita.” From Dem. adv. Lept. 488, tv’ $ v {uv-res itcrfoavTO 
€V( 5 o£[av avTTj ml reXevrrjKdcnv atirois arododely]. 


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1 , 




i 1 

■i| n 


For narrations and relations of particular actions, there 
were also to be wished a greater diligence therein; for there 
is no great action but hath some good pen which attends it. 
And because it is an ability not common to write a good 
history, as may well appear by the small number of them; 
yet if particularity of actions memorable were but tolerably 
reported as they pass, the compiling of a complete history 
of times mought be the better expected, when a writer should 
arise that were fit for it : for the collection of such relations 
mought be as a nursery garden, whereby to plant a fair and 
stately garden, when time should serve. 

There is yet another portion of history which Cornelius 
Tacitus maketh, which is not to be forgotten, especially with 
that application which he accoupleth it withal, annals and 
journals : appropriating to the former matters of estate, 
and to the latter acts and accidents of a meaner nature. 
For giving but a touch of certain magnificent buildings, he 
addeth Cum ex dignitate populi Romani repertum sit, res 
illustres annalibus talia diurnis urbis actis mandare. 1 So as 
there is a kind of contemplative heraldry, as well as civil. 
And as nothing doth derogate from the dignity of a state 
more than confusion of degrees; so it doth not a little 
embase the authority of a history, to intermingle matters 
of triumph, or matters of ceremony, or matters of novelty, 
with matters of state. But the use of a journal hath not 
only been in the history of time, but likewise in the history 
of persons, and chiefly of actions; for princes in ancient 
time had, upon point of honour and policy both, journals 
kept of what passed day by day : for we see the chronicle 
which was read before Ahasuerus , 2 when he could not take 
rest, contained matter of affairs indeed, but such as had 
passed in his own time, and very lately before: but the 
journal of Alexander's house expressed every small particu- 
larity, even concerning his person and court ; 3 and it is yet 
a use well received in enterprises memorable, as expeditions 
of war, navigations, and the like, to keep diaries of that 
which passeth continually. 

I cannot likewise be ignorant of a form of writing which 
some wise and grave men have used, containing a scattered 
history of those actions which they have thought worthy of 

1 Tac. Ann . xiii. 31. 2 Esth. vi. 1. 

3 See Plutarch, Sympos. i . Qu. 6. 


Advancement of Learning 79 

memory, with politic discourse and observation thereupon : 
not incorporate into the history, but separately, and as the 
more principal in their intention ; 1 which kind of ruminated 
history I think more fit to place amongst books of policy, 
whereof we shall hereafter speak, than amongst books of 
history : for it is the true office of history to represent the 
events themselves together with the counsels, and to leave 
the observations and conclusions thereupon to the liberty 
and faculty of every man’s judgment. But mixtures are 
things irregular, whereof no man can define. 

So also is there another kind of history manifoldly mixed, 
and that is history of cosmography : being compounded of 
natural history, in respect of the regions themselves; of 
history civil, in respect of the habitations, regiments, and 
manners of the people ; and the mathematics , in respect of 
the climates and configurations towards the heavens : which 
part of learning of all others in this latter time hath obtained 
most proficience. For it may be truly affirmed to the 
honour of these times, and in a virtuous emulation with 
antiquit}?, that this great building of the world had never 
through-lights made in it, till the age of us and our fathers: 
for although they had knowledge of the Antipodes, 

Nosque ubi primus equis Oriens affiavit anhelis, 

Illic sera rubens accendit lumina Vesper: 2 

yet that mought be by demonstration, and not in fact ; and 
if by travel, it requireth the voyage but of half the globe. 
But to circle the earth, as the heavenly bodies do, was not 
done or enterprised till these latter times: and therefore 
these times may justly bear in their word, not only plus 
ultra , 3 in precedence of the ancient non ultra , and imitabile 
fulmen, in precedence of the ancient non imitabile fulmen, 

Demens qui nimbos et non imitabile fulmen; etc. 4 

but likewise imitabile ccelum ; in respect of the many 
memorable voyages after the manner of heaven about the 
globe of the earth. 

And this proficience in navigation and discoveries may 

1 Such books as Machiavelli’s Discorsi sofira Livia are here meant. 

2 Virg. Georg, i. 250, 251. 

3 Plus ultra was the motto of Charles V. (Ellis). 

4 Virg. PEn. vi. 590. 



plant also an expectation of the further proficience and 
augmentation of all sciences; because it may seem they are 
ordained by God to be coevals, that is, to meet in one age. 
For so the prophet Daniel, speaking of the latter times, 
foretelleth Plurimi pertransibunt , et multiplex erit scientia : 1 
as if the openness and thorough passage of the world and 
the increase of knowledge were appointed to be in the same 
ages; as we see it is already performed in great part; the 
learning of these latter times not much giving place to the 
former two periods or returns of learning, the one of the 
Grecians, the other of the Romans. 

History ecclesiastical receiveth the same divisions with 
history civil: but further, in the propriety thereof, may be 
divided into the history of the church , by a general name ; 
history of prophecy ; and history of providence. The first 
describeth the times of the militant church, whether it be 
fluctuant, as the ark of Noah; or moveable, as the ark in 
the wilderness; or at rest, as the ark in the temple: that is, 
the state of the church in persecution, in remove, and in 
peace. This part I ought in no sort to note as deficient; 
only I would that the virtue and sincerity of it were accord- 
ing to the mass and quantity. But I am not now in hand 
with censures, but with omissions. 

The second, which is history of prophecy, consisteth of 
two relatives, the prophecy, and the accomplishment; and 
therefore the nature of such a work ought to be, that every 
prophecy of the Scripture be sorted with the event fulfilling 
the same, throughout the ages of the world; both for better 
confirmation of faith, and for the better illumination of the 
Church touching those parts of prophecies which are yet 
unfulfilled: allowing nevertheless that latitude which is 
agreeable and familiar unto divine prophecies ; being of the 
z nature of their Author, with whom a thousand years are but 
iMa^one day ; 2 and therefore are not fulfilled punctually at 
/* Jfc™ce, but have springing and germinant accomplishment 
Sf throughout many. ages; though the height or fulness of 
them may refer to .some one age. This is a work which I 
find deficient ; but is to be done with wisdom, sobriety, and 
reverence, or not at all. 

The third, which is history of providence, containeth that 
excellent correspondence which is between God's revealed 

1 Dan. xii. 4. a 2 p e ter iii. 8. 

Advancement of Learning 8 1 

will and His secret will: which though it be so obscure, as 
for the most part it is not legible to the natural man; no, 
nor many times to those that behold it from the Tabernacle; 
yet at some times it pleaseth God, for our better establish- 
ment and the confuting of those which are as without God 
in the world, to write it in such text and capital letters, that 
as the prophet saith, He that runneth by may read it ; 1 that 
is, mere sensual persons, which hasten by God's judgments, 
and never bend or fix their cogitations upon them, are 
nevertheless in their passage and race urged to discern it. 
Such are the notable events and examples of God's Judg- 
ments, chastisements, deliverances, and blessings: and this 
is a work which hath passed through the labour of many, 
and therefore I cannot present as omitted. 

There are also other parts of learning which are appen- 
dices to history : for all the exterior proceedings of man 
consist of words and deeds : whereof history doth properly 
receive and retain in memory the deeds : and if words, yet 
but as inducements and passages to deeds: so are there 
other books and writings, which are appropriate to the 
custody and receipt of words only; which likewise are of 
three sorts : orations , letters , and brief speeches or sayings . 
Orations are pleadings, speeches of counsel, laudatives, 
invectives, apologies, reprehensions, orations of formality 
or ceremony, and the like. Letters are according to all 
the variety of occasions, advertisements, advices, directions, 
propositions, petitions, commendatory, expostulatory, 
satisfactory, of compliment, of pleasure, of discourse, and 
all other passages of action. And such as are written from 
wise men, are of all the words of man, in my judgment, the 
best; for they are more natural than orations and public 
speeches, and more advised than conferences or present 
speeches. So again letters of affairs from such as manage 
them, or are privy to them, are of all others the best instruc- 
tions for history, and to a diligent reader the best histories 
in themselves. For Apophthegms, it is a great loss of that 
book of Caesar's ; 2 for as his history, and those few letters of 
his which we have, and those apophthegms which were of 
his own, excel all men's else, so I suppose would his collec- 

1 Hab. ii. 2, but misquoted. " That he may run that readeth,” 
— i.e. may hasten to carry on the tidings. 

2 Vid. Cic. ad Fam. ix. 16. 

82 Bacon 

tion of Apophthegms have done; for as for those which are 
collected by others, either I have no taste in such matters, 
or else their choice hath not been happy. But upon these 
three kinds of writings I do not insist, because I have no 
deficiencies to propound concerning them. 

Thus much therefore concerning history; which is that 
part of learning which answereth to one of the cells, domi- 
ciles, or offices of the mind of man: which is that of 

'Poesy is a part of learning in measure of words for the 
teiosT^rt restrained, but in all other points extremely 
licensed, and doth truly refer to the imagination; which, 
being not tied to the laws of matter, may at pleasure join 
that which nature hath severed, and sever that which nature 
hath joined; and so make unlawful matches and divorces 
of things; Pictonbus atque poetis, etc . 1 It is taken in two 
senses in respect of words or matter ; in the first sense it is 
but a character of style, and belonged to arts of speech, and 
is not pertinent for the present: in the latter it is, as hath 
been said, one of the principal portions of learning, and is 
nothing else but feigned history , which may be styled as well 
in prose as in verse. 

The use of this feigned history hath been to give some 
shadow of satisfaction to the mind of man in those points 
wherein the nature of things doth deny it, the world being in 
proportion inferior .to the soul; by reason whereof there is, 
agreeable to the spirit of man, a more ample greatness, a 
more exact goodness, and a more absolute variety, than can 
be found in the nature of things. Therefore, because the 
acts or events of true history have not that magnitude which 
satisfieth the mind of man, poesy feigneth acts and events 
greater and more heroical: because true history propound- 
ed the successes and issues of actions not so agreeable to 
the merits of virtue and vice, therefore poesy feigns them 
more just in retribution, and more according to revealed 
providence: because true history represented actions and 
events more ordinary, and less interchanged, therefore 
poesy endueth them with more rareness, and more unex- 
pected and alternative variations: so as it appeared that 
poesy serveth and conferred to magnanimity, morality, 
and to delectation. And therefore it was ever thought to 
1 Hor. Ep. ad Pis . 9. 

Advancement of Learning 83 

have some participation of divineness, because it doth raise 
and erect the mind, by submitting the shows of things to 
the desires of the mind; whereas reason doth buckle and 
bow the mmd into the nature of things. And we see, that 
by these insinuations and congruities with man's nature 
and pleasure, joined also with the agreement and comfort 
it hath with music, it hath had access and estimation in 
rude times and barbarous regions, where other learning 
stood excluded. 

The division of Poesy which is aptest in the propriety 
thereof (besides those divisions which are common unto it 
with history, as feigned chronicles, feigned lives, and the 
appendices of history, as feigned epistles, feigned orations, 
and the rest) is into poesy narrative , representative , and 
allusive. The N arrative is a mere imitation of history, with 
the excesses before remembered; choosing for subject 
commonly wars and love, rarely state, and sometimes 
pleasure or mirth. Representative is as a visible history; 
and is an image of actions as if they were present, as history 
is of actions in nature as they are (that is) past. Allusive 
or Parabolical is a Narrative applied only to express some 
special purpose or conceit. Which latter kind of paraboli- 
cal wisdom was much more in use in the ancient times, as 
by the fables of uEsop, and the brief sentences of the Seven, 
and the use of hieroglyphics may appear. And the cause 
was, for that it was then of necessity to express any point 
of reason which was more sharp or subtile than the vulgar 
in that manner, because men in those times wanted both 
variety of examples and subtility of conceit: and as hiero- 
glyphics were before letters, so parables were before argu- 
ments: and nevertheless now, and at all times, they do 
retain much life and vigour; because reason cannot be so 
sensible, nor examples so fit. 

But there remaineth yet another use of Poesy Parabolical, 
opposite to that which we last mentioned: for that tendeth 
to demonstrate and illustrate that which is taught or de- 
livered, and this other to retire and obscure it : that is, when 
the secrets and mysteries of religion, policy, or philosophy, 
are involved in fables or parables. Of this in divine poesy 
we see the use is authorized. In heathen poesy we see the 
exposition of fables doth fall out sometimes with great 
felicity; as in the fable that the giants being overthrown in 



their war against the gods, the Earth their mother in 
revenge thereof brought forth Fame : 

111 am terra parens, ira irritata Deorum, 

Extremam, ut perhibent, Cceo Enceladoque sororem 
Progenuit: 1 

expounded, that when princes and monarchs have sup- 
pressed actual and open rebels, then the malignity of the 
people, which is the mother of rebellion, doth bring forth 
libels and slanders, and taxations of the states, which is of 
the same kind with rebellion, but more feminine. So in the 
fable, that the rest of the gods having conspired to bind 
Jupiter, Pallas 2 called Briareus with his hundred hands to 
his aid: expounded, that monarchies need not fear any 
curbing of their absoluteness by mighty subjects, as long 
as by wisdom they keep the hearts of the people, who will 
be sure to come in on their side. So in the fable, that 
Achilles was brought up under Chiron the Centaur, who was 
part a man and part a beast, expounded ingeniously but 
corruptly by Machiavel , 3 that it belongeth to the education 
and discipline of princes to know as well how to play the 
part of the lion in violence, and the fox in guile, as of the 
man in virtue and justice. Nevertheless, in many the like 
encounters, I do rather think that the fable was first, and 
the exposition devised, than that the moral was first, and 
thereupon the fable framed. For I find it was an ancient 
vanity in Chrysippus, that troubled himself with great 
contention to fasten the assertions of the Stoics upon the 
fictions of the ancient poets; but yet that all the fables and 
fictions of the poets were but pleasure and not figure, I 
interpose no opinion. Surely of those poets which are now 
extant, even Homer himself (notwithstanding he was made 
a kind of Scripture by the latter schools of the Grecians), 
yet I should without any difficulty pronounce that his fables 
had no such inwardness in his own meaning; but what they 
might have upon a more original tradition, is not easy to 
affirm; for he was not the inventor of many of them . 4 

1 Virg. Mn. iv. 178-180. 

3 Not Pallas, but Thetis, Horn. II. A. 401, sqq . 

* Horn. II. A. 831, and Machiav. Prince , c. 18. 

4 In the Latin, in room of these examples, the fables of Pan, 
Perseus, and Dionysus, are expounded to show respectively how 
physical, political, and moral doctrines might be thence deduced. 

Advancement ot Learning 85 

In this third 1 part of learning, which is poesy, I can 
report no deficience, For being as a plant that cometh of 
the lust of the earth, without a formal seed, it hath sprung 
up and spread abroad more than any other kind. But to 
ascribe unto it that which is due, for the expressing of affec- 
tions, passions, corruptions, and customs, we are beholding 
to poets more than to the philosophers’ works; and for wit 
and eloquence, not much less than to orators’ harangue. 
But it is not good to stay too long in the theatre. Let us 
now pass on to the judicial place or palace of the mind, 
which we are to approach and view with more reverence 
9 and attention. 

- The knowledge of man is as the waters, some descending 
from above, and some springing from beneath; the one y} 
informed by the light of nature, the other inspired by diviney^ 
revelation. The light of nature consisteth in the notions of 
the mind and the reports of the senses : for as for knowledge 
which man receiveth by teaching, it is cumulative and not 
original; as in a water that besides his own spring-head is 
fed with other springs and streams. So then, according to 
these two differing illuminations or originals, knowledge is 
first of all divided into divinity and philosophy . 

In Philosophy , the contemplations of man do either 
penetrate unto God, — or are circumf erred to nature, — or 
are reflected or reverted upon himself. Out of which 
several inquiries there do arise three knowledges, divine 
philosophy, natural philosophy, and human philosophy or 
humanity. For all things are marked and stamped with 
this triple character of the power of God, the difference of 
nature and the use of man. But because the distributions 
and partitions of knowledge are not like several lines that 
> meet in one angle, and so touch but in a point; but are like 
branches of a tree, that meet in a stem, which hath a dimen- 
sion and quantity of entireness and continuance, before it 
come to discontinue and break itself into arms and boughs: 
therefore it is good, before we enter into the former distribu- 
tion, to erect and constitute one universal science, by the 
name of philosophia prima, primitive or summary philosophy, 
as the main and common way, before we come where the 
ways part and divide themselves ; which science whether I 

1 Rather the second than the third part of learning — History, 
Poesy, Philosophy. 

G 7*9 

86 Bacon 

should report as deficient or no, I stand doubtful. For I 
find a certain rhapsody of natural theology, and of divers 
parts of logic ; and of that part of natural philosophy which 
concerneth the principles, and of that other part of natural 
philosophy which concerneth the soul or spirit; all these 
strangely commixed and confused; but being examined, 
it seemeth to me rather a depredation of other sciences, 
advanced and exalted unto some height of terms, than 
anything solid or substantive of itself. Nevertheless I 
cannot be ignorant of the distinction which is current, that 
the same things are handled but in several respects. As 
for example, that logic considered of many things as they 
are in notion, and this philosophy as they are in nature; 
the one in appearance, the other in existence; but I find 
this difference better made than pursued. For if they had 
considered quantity , similitude , diversity , and the rest of 
those extern characters of things, as philosophers, and in 
nature, their inquiries must of force have been of a far other 
kind than they are. For doth any of them, in handling 
quantity , speak of the force of union, how and how far it 
multiplieth virtue? Doth any give the reason, why some 
things in nature are so common, and in so great mass, and 
others so rare, and in so small quantity? Doth any, in 
handling similitude and diversity , assign the cause why iron 
should not move to iron, which is more like, but move to 
the lode-stone, which is less like? Why in all diversities 
of things there should be certain participles in nature, which 
are almost ambiguous to which kind they should be referred.? 
But there is a mere and deep silence touching the nature 
and operation of those common adjuncts of things, as in 
nature: and only a resuming and repeating of the force and 
use of them in speech or argument. Therefore, because in 
a writing of this nature, I avoid all subtility, my meaning 
touching this original or universal philosophy is thus, in a 
plain and gross description by negative: That it be a recep- 
tacle for all such profitable observations and axioms as fall 
not within the compass of any of the special parts of 
philosophy or sciences , but are more common and of a higher 
stage . 

Now that there are many of that kind need not to be 
doubted. For example: is not the rule, Si incequalibus 
cequalia adda$ f omnia erunt incequalia , an axiom as well of 

Advancement of Learning 87 

justice as of the mathematics? 1 and is there not a true 
coincidence between commutative and distributive justice, 
and arithmetical and geometrical proportion ? Is not that 
other rule, Quce in eodem tertio conveniunt , et inter se come- 
niunt, a rule taken from the mathematics, but so potent in 
logic as all syllogisms are built upon it ? Is not the observa- 
tion, Omnia mutantur , nil interitf a contemplation in philo- 
sophy thus, that the quantum of nature is eternal? in 
natural theology thus, that it requireth the same Omnipo- 
tence to make somewhat nothing, which at the first made 
nothing somewhat ? according to the Scripture, Didici quod 
omnia opera , quce fecit Deus, per server ent in perpetuum ; non 
possumus eis quicquam adder e nec auferre} Is not the 
ground, which Machiavel wisely and largely discourseth 
concerning governments, that the way to establish and 
preserve them, is to reduce them ad principia , a rule in 
religion and nature, as well as in civil administration ? 4 
Was not the Persian magic a reduction or correspondence 
of the principles and architectures of nature to the rules and 
policy of governments? Is not the precept of a musician, 
to fall from a discord or harsh accord upon a concord or 
sweet accord, alike true in affection. Is not the trope of 
music, to avoid or slide from the close or cadence, common 
with the trope of rhetoric of deceiving expectation ? 5 Is not 
the delight of the quavering upon a stop in music the same 
with the playing of light upon the water? 

Splendet tremulo sub lumine pontus. 1 

Are not the organs of the senses of one kind with the organs 
of reflection, the eye with a glass, the ear with a cave or 
strait determined and bounded? Neither are these only 
similitudes, as men of narrow observation may conceive 
them to be, but the same footsteps of nature, treading or 
printing upon several subjects or matters. This science, 
therefore, as I understand it, I may justly report as deficient: 

1 In Ellis and Spedding's edition there is a note saying that this 
clause and its successor are transposed in the original edition. This 
is not the case in the copy I have collated. And in one or two 
other notices of variation my copy did not bear out their remarks. 

2 Plat. Thecet. i. 152. Ovid, Met. xv. 165. 

8 Ecclus. xlii. 21. 4 Discourse on Livy, iii. 1. 

6 See Nov. Org. ii. 27. “ Instantke conformes.” 

* Virg. Mn. vii, 9. 

88 Bacon 

for I see sometimes the profounder sort of wits in handling 
some particular argument will now and then draw a bucket 
of water out of this well for their present use; but the 
spring-head thereof seemeth to me not to have been visited ; 
being of so excellent use, both for the disclosing of nature, 
and the abridgment of art. 

^f’P.-This science being therefore first placed as a common 
'parent, like unto Berecynthia, which had so much heavenly 

Omnes Coelicolas, omnes supera alta tenentes, 1 

we may return to the former distribution of the three 
philosophies; divine , natural , and human. 

And as concerning divine philosophy or natural theology , 
it is that knowledge or rudiment of knowledge concerning 
God, which may be obtained by the contemplation of His 
creatures; which knowledge may be truly termed divine in 
respect of the object, and natural in respect of the light. 
The bounds of this knowledge are, that it sufficeth to con- 
vince atheism, but not to inform religion: and therefore 
there was never miracle wrought by God to convert an 
atheist, because the light of nature might have led him to 
confess a God: but miracles have been wrought to convert 
idolators and the superstitious, because no light of nature 
extendeth to declare the will and true worship of God. 
For as all works do show forth the power and skill of the 
workman, and not his image ; so it is of the works of God, 
which do show the omnipotency and wisdom of the Maker, 
but not His image: and therefore therein the heathen 
opinion differeth from the sacred truth; for they supposed 
the world to be the image of God, and man to be an exact 
or compendious image of the world , 2 but the Scriptures 
never vouchsafe to attribute to the world that honour, as to 
be the image of God, but only the work of His hands : 3 
neither do they speak of any other image of God, but man : 
wherefore by the contemplation of nature to induce and 

1 Virg. JEn. vi. 787. 

2 MiKp6K0(rp.Qs — a favourite dogma with Paracelsus, who divided 
the body of man according to the cardinal points of the world. But 
Bacon is perhaps referring to the Platonists in the first part of the 

1 Ps. viii. 3. 

Advancement of Learning 89 

enforce the acknowledgment of God, and to demonstrate 
His power, providence, and goodness, is an excellent 
argument, and hath been excellently handled by divers. 

But on the other side, out of the contemplation of nature, 
or ground of human knowledge, to induce any verity or 
persuasion concerning the points of faith, is in my judgment 
not safe: Da fidei qua fidei sunt . 1 For the heathens them- 
selves conclude as much in that excellent and divine fable 
of the golden chain : That men and gods were not able to draw 
Jupiter down to the earth ; but contrariwise , Jupiter was able 
to draw them up to heaven . 2 So as we ought not to attempt 
to draw down or submit the mysteries of God to our reason; 
but contrariwise to raise and advance our reason to the divine 
truth. So as in this part of knowledge, touching divine 
philosophy, I am so far from noting any deficience, as I 
rather note an excess: whereunto I have digressed because 
of the extreme prejudice which both religion and philosophy 
have received and may receive, by being commixed 
together; as that which undoubtedly will make an heretical 
religion, and an imaginary and fabulous philosophy. 

Otherwise it is of the nature of angels and spirits, which 
is an appendix of theology both divine and natural, and 
is neither inscrutable nor interdicted; for although the 
Scripture saith. Let no man deceive you in sublime discourse 
touching the worship of angels , pressing into that he knoweth 
not , etc ., 3 ye t notwithstanding, if you observe well that 
precept, it may appear thereby that there be two things 
only forbidden, adoration of them, and opinion fantastical 
of them, either to extol them farther than appertaineth to 
the degree of a creature, or to extol a man's knowledge of 
them farther than he hath ground. But the sober and 
grounded inquiry, which may arise out of the passages of 
holy Scriptures, or out of the gradations of nature, is not 
restrained. So of degenerate and revolted spirits, the 
conversing with them or the employment of them is pro- 
hibited, much more any veneration towards them; but the 
contemplation or science of their nature, their power, their 
illusions, either by Scripture or reason, is a part of spiritual 
wisdom. For so the apostle saith, We are not ignorant of 
his stratagems . 4 And it is no more unlawful to inquire the 

1 Luke xx. 25. 
* Coloss. ii. 18. 

2 Horn. II. viii. 19-22. 
® 2 Cor. ii. 11. 


nature of evil spirits, than to inquire the force of poisons 
in nature, or the nature of sin and vice in morality. But 
this part touching angels and spirits I cannot note as defi- 
cient, for many have occupied themselves in it ; 1 I may 
rather challenge it, in many of the writers thereof, as 
fabulous and fantastical. 

Leaving therefore divine philosophy or natural theology 
(not Divinity or inspired theology, which we reserve for the 
/ f last of all, as the haven and sabbath of all man’s contempla- 
J/^ions), we will now proceed to natural philosoph y. 

-Um If then it be true that Democritus said, That the truth of 
M nature lieth hid in certain deep mines and caves* and if it be 
true likewise that the alchemists do so much inculcate, that 
Vulcan is a second nature, and imitateth that dexterously 
and compendiously, which nature worketh by ambages and 
length of time, it were good to divide natural philosophy 
into the mine and the furnace: and to make two professions 
or occupations of natural philosophers, some to be pioneers 
and some smiths; some to dig, and some to refine and 
hammer: and surely I do best allow of a division of that 
kind, though in more familiar and scholastical terms; 
namely, that these be the two parts of n at uraLphilosoph.v. — 
th e inquisition of c a uses , and the production^ „of_ effects ; 
specu lative, an d operative ; natural s c ie nce, and natuml 
prudence^ For as in civil matters there is a wisdom of 
discourse and a wisdom of direction; so is it in natural. 
And here I will make a request, that for the latter, or at 
least for a part thereof, I may revive and reintegrate the 
misapplied and abused name of natural magic ; 3 which, in 
the true sense, is but natural wisdom } or natural prudence ; 
taken according to the ancient acception, purged from 
vanity and superstition. Now although it be true, and I 
know it well, that there is an intercourse between causes and 
effects, so as both these knowledges, speculative and opera- 
tive, have a great connection between themselves; yet 
because all true and fruitful natural philosophy hath a 

1 The nature of Angels was a favourite subject of speculation and 
discussion among the Schoolmen, whose writings on it deserve 
Bacon’s censure. 

* iv gvdc? y dp i} dX^deia. Diog. Laert. ix. 72. — Whence our “ Truth 
lies at the bottom of a Well/* 

3 Cf. Nov. Org. ii. 9 and 51, and Be Augm. iii. 5, where he asserts 
for the term Magic its proper honours. 

Advancement of Learning gt 

double scale or ladder, ascendent and descendent; ascend- 
ing from experiments to the invention of causes, and de- 
scending from causes to the invention of new experiments • 
therefore I judge it most requisite that these two parts 
be severally considered and handled. 

Natural science or theory is divided into physique and 
metaphysique : wherein I desire it may be conceived that I 
use the word metaphysique in a differing sense from that 
that is received : and in like manner, I doubt not but it will 
easily appear to men of judgment, that in this and other 
particulars, wheresoever my conception and notion may 
differ from the ancient, yet I am studious to keep the 
ancient terms. For hoping well to deliver myself from 
mistaking, by the order and perspicuous expressing of that 
I do propound, I am otherwise zealous and affectionate to 
recede as little from antiquity, either in terms or opinions, 
as may stand with truth and the proficience of knowledge! 
And herein I cannot a little marvel at the philosopher 
Aristotle, that did proceed in such a spirit of difference and 
contradiction towards all antiquity: undertaking not only 
to frame new words of science at pleasure, but to confound 
and extinguish all ancient wisdom: insomuch as he never 
nameth or mentioneth an ancient author or opinion, but 
to confute and reprove ; 1 wherein for glory, and drawing 
followers and disciples, he took the right course. For cer- 
tainly there cometh to pass and hath place in human truth, 
that which was noted and pronounced in the highest truth; 
Veni in nomine Patris, nec recipitis me ; si quis venerit in 
nomine suo eum recipietis . 2 But in this divine aphorism, 
(considering to whom it was applied, namely to Antichrist! 
the highest deceiver,) we may discern well that the coming 
in a man’s own name, without regard of antiquity or pater- 
nity, is no good sign of truth, although it be joined with the 
fortune and success of an Eum recipietis. But for this 
excellent person Aristotle, I will think of him that he 
learned that humour of his scholar, with whom, it seemeth, 
he did emulate, the one to conquer all opinions, as the other 

1 Ci. Nov. Org. i. 63, 67, where he likens him to the Turks, whose 
Sultans on ascending the throne murder all the seed royal. Cf. 
Ar. Eth. Nic. I. 6, i., where Aristotle declares that it is sometimes 
needful for truth’s sake /cal ra oU eta avaipeip. 

* John v. 43. 

I 92 Bacon 

to conquer all nations ; wherein nevertheless, it may be, he 
may at some men’s hands that are of a bitter disposition get 
a like title as his scholar did: 

Felix terrarum praedo, non. utile mundo 
| Editus exemplum, etc. 


Felix doctrinse praedo . 1 

But to me, on the other side, that do desire as much as lieth 
in my pen to ground a sociable intercourse between anti- 
quity and proficience, it seemeth best to keep way with 
antiquity usque ad aras ; and therefore to retain the ancient 
terms, though I sometimes alter the uses and definitions, 
according to the moderate proceeding in civil government ; 
i where although there be some alteration, yet that holdeth 

-which Tacitus wisely noteth, Eadem Magistratuum voeabula .* 
; . To return therefore to the use and acceptation of the 

! W^te rm Metaphysique, as I do now understand the word; it 
j tr "A 4? appeareth, by that which hath been already said, that I 
: P^Jmtend philosophia prima, Summary Philosophy, and Meta- 
1 physique, which heretofore have been confounded as one, 

\ l to be two distinct things. For the one I have made as a 

i parent or common ancestor to all knowledge ; and the other 

I I have now brought in as a branch or descendent of natural 

:| science. It appeareth likewise that I have assigned to 

Summary Philosophy the common principles and axioms 
which are promiscuous and indifferent to several sciences : I 
have assigned unto it likewise the inquiry touching the 
operation of the relative and adventive characters of 
essences, as quantity, similitude , diversity , possibility , and 
the rest : with this distinction and provision ; that they be 
handled as they have efficacy in nature, and not logically. 
It appeareth likewise that Natural Theology, which hereto- 
fore hath been handled confusedly with Metaphysique, I 
have inclosed and bounded by itself. It is therefore now 
a question which is left remaining for Metaphysique; 

1 Illic Pellaei proles vesana Philippi 

Felix prasdo jacet, terrarum vindice fato 
;t Raptus. . . . 

1 Nam sibi libertas unquam si redderet orbem, 

Ludibrio servatus erat, non utile mundo 

Editus exemplum. Lucan. Phars. x. 20. 

* Tac . Ann i. j. 

Advancement of Learning 93 

wherein I may without prejudice preserve thus much of the 
conceit of antiquity, that Physique should contemplate 
that which is inherent in matter, and therefore transitory ; 
and Metaphysique that which is abstracted and fixed.' 
And again, that Physique should handle that which sup- 
poseth in nature only a being and moving; and Meta- 
physique should handle that which supposeth further in 
nature a reason, understanding, and platform. But the 
difference, perspicuously expressed, is most familiar and 
sensible. . For as we divided natural philosophy in general 
into the inquiry of causes , and productions of effects : so that 
part which concerneth the inquiry of causes we do sub- 
divide according to the received and found division of 
| causes; the one part, which is Physique, inquireth and 
I handleth the material and efficient causes ; and the other, 
which is Metaphysique, handleth the formal and final 
i causes . 1 

Physique, taking it according to the derivation, and not 
according to our idiom for medicine , is situate in a middle 
term or distance between Natural History and Meta- 
physique. For natural history describeth the variety 
of things ; physique, the causes, but variable or respective 
causes; and metaphysique, the fixed and constant causes. 

Limus ut hit durescit, et hsec ut cera liquescit, 

Uno eodemque igni: 2 

Fire is the cause of induration, but respective to clay; 
fire is the cause of colliquation, but respective to wax; but 
fire is no constant cause either of induration or colliquation: 
so then the physical causes are but the efficient and the 
matter. Physique hath three parts; whereof two respect 
nature united or collected, the third contemplateth nature 
diffused or distributed. Nature is collected either into one 
entire total, or else into the same principles or seeds. So as 
the first doctrine is touching the contexture or configura- 
tion of things, as de mundo, de universitate rerum. The 
second is the doctrine concerning the principles or originals 
of times. The third is the doctrine concerning all variety 
and particularity of things; whether it be of the differing 

1 For these " four causes” see Arist. Post. Anal. ii. 10, i. Cf. 
Mill’s Logic , bk. iii. ch. 5. 

a Virg. Eel. viii. 80. 


substances, or their differing qualities and natures ; whereof 
there needeth no enumeration, this part being but as a gloss, 
or paraphrase, that attendeth upon the text of natural 
history. Of these three I cannot report any as deficient. 
In what truth or perfection they are handled, I make not 
now any judgment; but they are parts of knowledge not 
deserted by the labour of man. 

For Metaphysique, we have assigned unto it the inquiry 
of formal and final causes; which assignation, as to the 
former of them, may seem to be nugatory and void ; because 
of the received and inveterate opinion that the inquisition 
of man is not competent to find out essential Forms or true 
differences: of which opinion we will take this hold, that 
the invention of Forms is of all other parts of knowledge the 
worthiest to be sought, if it be possible to be found . 1 2 As 
for the possibility, they are ill discoverers that think there 
is no land, when they can see nothing but sea. But it is 
manifest that Plato, in his opinion of Ideas, as one that had 
a wit of elevation situate as upon a cliff, did descry, that 
Forms were the true object of knowledge ; 2 but lost the real 
fruit of his opinion, by considering of Forms as absolutely 
abstracted from matter, and not confined and determined 
by matter; and so turning his opinion upon theology, 
wherewith all his natural philosophy is infected . 3 But if 
any man shall keep a continual watchful and severe eye upon 
action, operation, and the use of knowledge, he may advise 
and take notice what are the Forms, the disclosures whereof 
are fruitful and important to the state of man. For as to 
the forms of substances, man only except, of whom it is said, 
Formavit hominem de limo terra, et spiravit in faciem ejus 
spiraculum vita, and not as of all other creatures, Producant 
aqua, producat terra;* the Forms of substances, I say, as 
they are now by compounding and transplanting multiplied, 
are so perplexed, as they are not to be inquired; no more 
than it were either possible or to purpose to seek in gross the 
Forms of those sounds which make words, which by com- 
position and transposition of letters are infinite. But, on 

1 See Nov, Org. il i. Datae naturae formam . . . invenire opus et 
mtentio est humanas scientiae. The first twenty chapters of bk. ii. 
of the Nov. Org. are an attempt at expansion of this saying, 

2 Plato, Rep. x. init, * Nov. Org. i. q6. 

4 Gen, ii. y ; i. 20, 24. ® 

Advancement of Learning 95 

the other side, to inquire the Form of those sounds or voices 
which make simple letters is easily comprehensible; and 
being known, induceth and manifesteth the Forms of all 1 

words, which consist and are compounded of them. In I 

the same manner to inquire the Form of a lion, of an oak, 
of gold; nay, of water, of air, is a vain pursuit: but to 
inquire the forms of sense, of voluntary motion, of vegeta- 
tion, of colours, of gravity and levity, of density, of tenuity, 
of heat, of cold, and all other natures ahd qualities, which, 
like an alphabet, are not many, a¥d of which the essences, 
upheld by matter, of all creatures do cbn^f^tSmquire, 

I say, the true Forms of these, is that part of metaphysique 
which we now define of. Not but that Physic doth make 
inquiry, and take consideration of the same natures: but 
how ? Only as to the material and efficient causes of them, 
and not as to the Forms. For example; if the cause of 
whiteness in snow or froth be inquired, and it be rendered 
thus, that the subtile intermixture of air and water is the 
l cause, it is well rendered; but, nevertheless, is this the form 
of whiteness ? No ; but it is the efficient, which is ever but 
vehiculum formce } This part of Metaphysique I do not find 
laboured and performed: whereat I marvel not; because I 
hold it not possible to be invented by that course of inven- 
tion which hath been used ; in regard that men, which is the 
root of all error, have made too untimely a departure and 
too remote a recess from particulars. 

* But the use of this part of Metaphysique, which I report 

as deficient, is of the rest the most excellent in two respects: 
j the one, because it is the duty and virtue of all knowledge 
; to abridge the infinity of individual experience, as much as 
the conception of truth will permit, and to remedy the 
complaint of vita brevis , ars longa ; 1 2 which is performed by 
uniting the notions and conceptions of sciences : for know- 
ledges are as pyramids, whereof history is the basis. So of 
natural philosophy, the basis is natural history; the stage 
next the basis is physique ; the stage next the vertical point 
is metaphysique. As for the vertical point, opus quod 
operatur Deus d principio usque ad finem , 3 the summary law 

1 Nov. Org. ii. 3, efficiens et materialis causa (quae causae fluxae 
sunt, et nihil aliud quam vehicula et causae formam deferentes in 
aliquibus) . 

2 Hippoc. Aph. i. * Eccles. iii. 11. 

* Eccles, iii. 11. 


|j 9 6 

of nature, we know not whether man's inquiry can attain 
i unto it. But these three be the true stages of knowledge, 

g and are to them that are depraved no better than the giant's 

j : hills: 

j; * Ter sunt conati imponere Pelio Ossam, 

| j Scilicet atque Ossse frond osum involvere Olympum. 1 

* But to those who refer all things to the glory of God, they 

are as the three acclamations, Sancte , sancte , sancte ! holy 
ij ' in the description or dilatation of His works; holy in the 

j . connection or concatenation of them : and holy in the union 

j j »; of them in a perpetual and uniform law. And therefore 

i| ! the speculation was excellent in Parmenides and Plato, 

\ ! although but a speculation in them, that all things by scale 

| J did ascend to unity. 2 So then always that knowledge is 

y i worthiest which is charged with least multiplicity; which 

j; t appeareth to be metaphysique; as that which considereth 

f '' I the simple Forms or differences of things, which are few in 

I 1 number, and the degrees and co-ordinations whereof make 

! I all this variety. 

f j The second respect, which valueth and commendeth this 

|| | part of metaphysique, is that it doth enfranchise the power 

jdf of man unto the greatest liberty and possibility of works 

Iff and effects. For physique carrieth men in narrow and re- 

I I strained ways, subject to many accidents of impediments, 

i:i * imitating the ordinary flexuous courses of nature; but lata 

undique sunt sapientibus vice : 3 to sapience, which was 
anciently defined to be rerum divinarum et humanarum 
sciential there is ever choice of means. For physical causes 
give light to new invention in simili materia ; but whoso- 
ever knoweth any Form, knoweth the utmost possibility 
of super-inducing that nature upon any variety of matter; 
and so is less restrained in operation, either to the basis of 
the matter, or the condition of the efficient; which kind of 
knowledge Salomon likewise, though in a more divine sort, 
elegantly describeth: non arctabuntur gressus tui , et currens 
non habebis offendiculumP The ways of sapience are not 
much liable either to particularity or chance. 

The second part of metaphysique is the inquiry of final 

\ ** 28i > 282 > 2 Plato, Farm. 165, 166. 

* L erh JP® 5 r ? v - xv * I( ?> via jus-forum absque offendiculo. 

Cic. de Off. 1. 43 (154). * Prov. iv. 12. 

Advancement of Learning 97 

causes, which I am moved to report not as omitted, but as 
misplaced; and yet if it were but a fault in order, I would 
not speak of it: for order is matter of illustration, but 
pertaineth not to the substance of sciences. But this mis- 
placing hath caused a deficience, or at least a great impro- 
ficience in the sciences themselves. For the handling of 
final causes mixed with the rest in physical inquiries, hath 
intercepted the severe and diligent inquiry of all real and 
physical causes, and given men the occasion to stay upon 
these satisfactory and specious causes, to the great arrest 
and prejudice of further discovery. For this I find done not 
only by Plato, who ever anchoreth upon that shore, but by 
Aristotle, Galen, and others which do usually likewise fall 
upon these flats of discoursing causes . 1 For to say that the 
hairs of the eyelids are for a quickset and fence about the sight; 
or that the firmness of the skins and hides of living creatures 
is to defend them from the extremities of heat or cold ; or that 
the bones are for the columns or beams, whereupon the frames 
of the bodies of living creatures are built : or that the leaves 
of trees are for protecting of the fruit ; or that the clouds are 
for watering of the earth ; or that the solidness of the earth 
is for the station and mansion of living creatures and the 
like, is well inquired and collected in metaphysique, but 
in physique they are impertinent. Nay, they are indeed 
but remorce, and hindrances to stay and slug the ship 
from further sailing; and have brought this to pass, that 
the search of the physical causes hath been neglected, 
and passed in silence. And therefore the natural philo- 
sophy of Democritus and some others (who did not suppose 
a mind or reason in the frame of things, but attributed the 
form thereof able to maintain itself to infinite essays or 
proofs of nature, which they term fortune) seemeth to me, 
as far as I can judge by the recital and fragments which 
remain unto us, in particularities of physical causes, more 
- real and better inquired than that of Aristotle and Plato; 
whereof both intermingled final causes, the one as a part of 
theology, and the other as a part of logic, which were the 
favourite studies respectively of both those persons. Not 
because those final causes are not true, and worthy to be 
inquired, being kept within their own province; but 

1 Aristot. Phys. ii. 8, 2, where he illustrates by the teeth. Also 
Plat. Tim. iii. 70, and Galen, De Usu Partium. 



because their excursions into the limits of physical causes 
hath bred a vastness and solitude in that track. For 
otherwise, keeping their precincts and borders, men are 
extremely deceived if they think there is an enmity or 
repugnancy at all between them. For the cause rendered, 
that the hairs about the eye-lids are for the safeguard of 
the sight, doth not impugn the cause rendered, that pilosity 
is incident to orifices of moisture; muscosi fontes} etc. 
Nor the cause rendered, that the firmness of hides is for 
the armour of the body against extremities of heat or cold , 
doth not impugn the cause rendered, that contraction 
of pores is incident to the outwardest parts , in regard of their 
adjacence to foreign or unlike bodies ; and so of the rest : both 
causes being true and compatible, the one declaring an 
intention , the other a consequence only. Neither doth this 
call in question, or derogate from Divine Providence, but 
highly confirm and exalt it. For as in civil actions he is the 
greater and deeper politique, that can make other men the 
instruments of his will and ends, and yet never acquaint 
them with his purpose, so as they shall do it and yet not 
know what they do, than he that imparteth his meaning to 
those he employeth; so is the wisdom of God more admir- 
able, when nature intendeth one thing, and Providence 
draweth forth another, than if He communicated to particu- 
lar creatures and motions the characters and impressions 
of His Providence. And thus much for metaphysique; 
the latter part whereof I allow as extant, but with it con- 
fined to his proper place. 

Nevertheless there remaineth yet another part of Natural 
VThilosophy, which is commonly made a principal part and 
holdeth rank with Physique special and Metaphysique, 
which is Mathematique; but I think it more agreeable to 
the nature of things and to the light of order to place it as a 
branch of Metaphysique : for the subject of it being quantity 
(not quantity indefinite , which is but a relative , and belongeth 
to fihilosophia prima , as hath been said, but quantity deter - 
mined or proportionable) it appeareth to be one of the essen- 
tial Forms of things; as that that is causative in nature of 
a number of effects ; insomuch as we see, in the schools both 
of Democritus and of Pythagoras , 2 that the one did ascribe 

1 Virg. Eel. vii. 45. 

a For these opinions of Democritus and the Pythagoreans, see 
Aristot. De 4nima i 2; Met. i. 4, 5. 

Advancement of Learning 99 

figure to the first seeds of things, and the other did suppose 
numbers to be the principles and originals of things : and it 
is true also that of all other Forms, as we understand Forms, 
it is the most abstracted and separable from matter, and 
therefore most proper to Metaphysique; which hath like- 
wise been the cause why it hath been better laboured and 
inquired than any of the other Forms, which are more 
immersed in matter. 

For it being the nature of the mind of man, to the extreme 
prejudice of knowledge, to delight in the spacious liberty 
of generalities, as in a champain region, and not in the 
inclosures of particularity; the Mathematics of all other 
knowledge were the goodliest fields to satisfy that appetite. 
But for the placing of this science, it is not much material : 
only we have endeavoured in these our partitions to observe 
a kind of perspective, that one part may cast light upon 

The Mathematics are either pure or mixed. To the Pure 
Mathematics are those sciences belonging which handle 
quantity determinate, merely severed from any axioms of 
natural philosophy; and these are two. Geometry and 
Arithmetic; the one handling quantity continued, and the 
other dissevered. 

Mixed hath for subject some axioms or parts of natural 
philosophy, and considereth quantity determined, as it is 
auxiliary and incident unto them. For many parts of 
nature can neither be invented with sufficient subtilty, nor 
demonstrated with sufficient perspicuity, nor accommo- 
dated unto use with sufficient dexterity, without the aid and 
intervening of the mathematics; of which sort are perspec- 
tive, music, astronomy, cosmography, architecture, enginery, 
and divers others. 

In the Mathematics I can report no deficience, except it 
be that men do not sufficiently understand the excellent use 
of the Pure Mathematics, in that they do remedy and cure 
many defects in the wit and faculties intellectual. For if 
the wit be too dull, they sharpen it; if too wandering, they 
fix it ; if too inherent in the sense, they abstract it. So t hat 
as tennis is a game of no use in itself, but of great use in 
respect it maketh a quick eye and a body ready to put itself 
into all postures; so in the Mathematics, that use which is 
collateral and intervenient is no less worthy than that which 

i oo Bacon 

is principal and intended. And as for the Mixed Mathe- 
matics , I may only make this prediction, that there cannot 
fail to be more kinds of them, as nature grows further dis- 
closed. Thus much of Natural Science, or the part of 
nature speculative. 

For Natural Prudence, or the part operative of Natural 
Philosophy, we will divide it into three parts, experimental, 
philosophical, and magical; which three parts active have 
a correspondence and analogy with the three parts specula- 
tive, natural history, physique, and metaphysique: for 
many operations have been invented, sometimes by a casual 
incidence and occurrence, sometimes by a purposed experi- 
ment : and of those which have been found by an intentional 
experiment, some have been found out by varying or extend- 
ing the same experiments, some by transferring and com- 
pounding divers experiments the one into the other, which 
land of invention an empiric may manage. 

Again, by the knowledge of physical causes there cannot 
fail to follow many indications and designations of new 
particulars, if men in their speculation will keep one eye 
upon use and practice. But these are but coastings along 
the shore, Premendo littus iniquum : 1 for it seemeth to me 
there can hardly be discovered any radical or fundamental 
alterations and innovations in nature, either by the fortune 
and essays of experiments, or by the light and direction of 
physical causes. If therefore we have reported Meta- 
physique deficient, it must follow that we do the like of 
natural Magic, which hath relation thereunto. For as for 
The~Naturar Magic whereof now there is mention in books, 
containing certain credulous and superstitious conceits and 
observations of sympathies and antipathies, and hidden 
properties, and some frivolous experiments, strange rather 
by disguisement than in themselves ; it is as far differing in 
truth of nature from such a knowledge as we require, as the 
story of King Arthur of Britain, or Hugh of Bordeaux, differs 
from Caesar’s Commentaries in truth of story. For it is 
manifest that Caesar did greater things de vero than those 
imaginary heroes were feigned to do; but he did them not 
in that fabulous manner. Of this kind of learning the fable 
of Ixion 2 was a figure, who designed to enjoy Juno, the 
goddess of power; and instead of her had copulation with 
1 Hor. Od. ii. x. 3. * Pind. Pyth. ii. 21. 


Advancement of Learning ioi 

a cloud, of which mixture were begotten centaurs and 
chimeras. So whosoever shall entertain high and vaporous 
imaginations, instead of a laborious and sober inquiry of 
truth, shall beget hopes and beliefs of strange and impossible 

And therefore we may note in these sciences which 
hold so much of imagination and belief, as this degenerate 
Natural Magic, Alchemy, Astrology, and the like, that in 
their propositions the description of the mean is ever more 
monstrous than the pretence or end. For it is a thing more 
probable, that he that knoweth well the natures of weight , 
of colour , of pliant and fragile , in respect of the hammer, of 
volatile and fixed in respect of the fire and the rest, may 
superinduce upon some metal the nature and Form of gold 
by such mechanique as belongeth to the production of the 
natures afore rehearsed, than that some grains of the mede- 
cine projected should in a few moments of time turn a sea of 
quicksilver or other material into gold: so it is more pro- 
bable that he that knoweth the nature of arefaction, the j 

nature of assimilation of nourishment to the thing nourished, 
the manner of increase and clearing of spirits, the manner 
of the depredations which spirits make upon the humours 
and solid parts, shall by ambages of diets, bathings, anoint- 
ings, medicines, motions, and the like, prolong life, or restore 
some degree of youth or vivacity, than that it can be done 
with the use of a few drops or scruples of a liquor or receipt. 

To conclude, therefore, the true Natural Magic, which is 
that great liberty and latitude of operation which dependeth 
upon the knowledge of Forms, I may report deficient, as the 
relative thereof is. 

To which part, if we be serious, and incline not to vanities 
and plausible discourse, besides the deriving and deducing 
the operations themselves from Metaphysique, there are Vty 
pertinent two points of much purpose, the one by way ofy^^f, 
preparation, the other by way of caution : the first is, thatj^y 
there be made a kalendar, resembling an inventory of the^V^ 
estate of man, containing all the inventions, being the works 
or fruits of nature or art, which are now extant, and whereof 
man is already possessed; out of which doth naturally 
result a note, what things are yet held impossible, or not 
invented: which kalendar will be the more artificial and 
serviceable, if to every reputed impossibility you add what 
H 7*9 



thing is extant which cometh the nearest in degree to that 
impossibility; to the end that by these optatives and 
potentials man's inquiry may be more awake in deducing 
direction of works from the speculation of causes: and 
secondly, that those experiments be not only esteemed 
which have an immediate and present use, but those princi- 
pally which are of most universal consequence for inven- 
tion of other experiments, and those which give most light 
to the invention of causes; for the invention of the mariner's 
needle, which giveth the direction, is of no less benefit for 
navigation than the invention of the sails which give the 

Thus have I passed through Natural Philosophy, and the 
deficiencies thereof; wherein if I have differed from the 
ancient and received doctrines, and thereby shall move 
contradiction ; for my part, as I affect not to dissent, so I 
purpose not to contend. If it be truth, 

Non canimus surdis, respondent omnia sylvse. 1 

The voice of nature will consent, whether the voice of man 
do or no. And as Alexander Borgia was wont to say of the 
expedition of the French for Naples, that they came with 
chalk in their hands to mark up their lodgings, and not with 
weapons to fight ; so I like better that entry of truth which 
cometh peaceably, with chalk to mark up those minds 
which are capable to lodge and harbour it, than that which 
cometh with pugnacity and contention . 2 

But there remaineth a division of natural philosophy 
according to the report of the inquiry, and nothing concern- 
ing the matter or subj ect ; and that is positive and considera- 
tive; when the inquiry reporteth either an assertion or a 
doubt. These doubts or non liquets are of two sorts, parti- 
cular and total. For the first, we see a good example there- 
of in Aristotle’s Problems, which deserved to have had a 
better continuance; but so nevertheless as there is one 
point whereof warning is to be given and taken. The 
registering of doubts hath two excellent uses: the one, that 
it saveth philosophy from errors and falsehoods; when 

1 Virg, Ed. x. 8. 

* Nov. Org. i. 3$. This saying of Alexander VI. was called forth 
by the expedition of Charles VIII. which overran Italy in about 
we months, a.d. 1494. 

Advancement of Learning 103 

that which is not fully appearing is not collected into asser- 
tion, whereby error might draw error, but reserved in doubt : 
the other, that the entry of doubts are as so many suckers 
or sponges to draw use of knowledge; insomuch as that 
which, if doubts had not preceded, a man should never have 
advised, but passed it over without note, by the suggestion 
and solicitation of doubts, is made to be attended and 
applied. But both these commodities do scarcely counter- 
vail an inconvenience which will intrude itself, if it be not 
debarred; which is, that when a doubt is once received, 
men labour rather how to keep it a doubt still, than how to 
solve it ; and accordingly bend their wits. Of this we see 
the familiar example in lawyers and scholars, both which, 
if they have once admitted’ a doubt, it goeth ever after 
authorised for a doubt. But that use of wit and knowledge 
is to be allowed, which laboureth to make doubtful th in gs 
certain, and not those which labour to make certain things 
doubtful. Therefore these kalendars of doubts I commend 
as excellent things; so that there be this caution used, that 
when they be thoroughly sifted and brought to resolution, 
they be from thenceforth omitted, decarded, and not con- 
tinued to cherish and encourage men in doubting. To 
which kalendar of doubts or problems, I advise be annexed m 

another kalendar, as much or more material, which is a W 

Kalendar of popular errors: I mean chiefly in natural H 

history, such as pass in speech and conceit, and are never- 
theless apparently detected and convicted of untruth: 
that man’s knowledge be not weakened nor embased by 
such dross and vanity. 

As for the doubts or non liquets general, or in total, I 
understand those differences of opinions touching the prin- 
ciples of nature, and the fundamental points of the same, 
which have caused the diversity of sects, schools, and 
philosophies, as that of Empedocles, Pythagoras, Demo- 
critus, Parmenides, and the rest. For although Aristotle, 
as though he had been of the race of the Ottomans, thought 
he could not reign except the first thing he did he killed all 
his brethren ; 1 yet to those that seek Truth and not magis- 

1 See Ellis' note on De A ugm. iii. 4, where he suggests, most prob- 
ably, that Bacon is alluding to the acts of Mahomet III. who, on 
becoming Sultan in a.d. 1595, put to death nineteen brothers, and 
ten or twelve women, supposed to be with child by his father. He 

i 04 Bacon 

trality, it cannot but seem a matter of great profit, to see 
before them the several opinions touching the foundations 
of nature: not for any exact truth that can be expected in 
those theories; for as the same phenomena in astronomy 
are satisfied by the received astronomy of the^ diurnal 
motion, and the proper motions of the planets, with their 
eccentrics and epicycles, and likewise by the theory of 
Copernicus, 1 who supposed the earth to move (and the 
calculations are indifferently agreeable to both), so the 
ordinary face and view of experience is many times satisfied 
by several theories and philosophies; whereas to find the 
real truth requireth another manner of severity and atten- 
tion. For as Aristotle saith, 2 that children at the first will 
call every woman mother, but afterward they come to 
distinguish according to truth, so experience, if it be in 
childhood, will call every philosophy mother, but when it 
cometh to ripeness, it will discern the true mother. So as 
in the meantime it is good to see the several glosses and 
opinions upon nature, whereof, it may be, every one in some 
one point hath seen clearer than his fellows: therefore I 
with some collection to be made, painfully and under- 
standingly, de antiquis fihilosophiis, out of all the possible 
light which remaineth to us of them : which kind of work 
I find deficient. But here I must give warning, that it be 
done distinctly and severally; 3 the philosophies of every one 
throughout by themselves; and not by titles packed and 
fagotted up together, as hath been done by Plutarch. For 
it is the harmony of a philosophy in itself which giveth it 
light and credence; whereas if it be singled and broken, it 
will seem more foreign and dissonant. For as when I read 
in Tacitus the actions of Nero, or Claudius, with circum- 
stances of times, inducements, and occasions, I find them 
not so strange; but when I read them in Suetonius Tran- 
quillus, gathered into titles and bundles, and not in order of 

adds that the practice was established as a fundamental State Law 
by Mahomet II. 

1 Nov. Org. i. 45, where he calls these " eccentrics and epicycles,” 
IHem spirales et dmcones. Bacon was ignorant of, and incurious 
about Mathematics and Astronomy at this time; and shows no 
good will towards Galileo and the " Copernican theory/’ 

•Aristot. Phys. i. 1. 

•Editions 1605, 1633, read severely; but the Latin has distincte 
which seems to require severally. 

Advancement of Learning 105 

time, they seem more monstrous and incredible: so is it 
of any philosophy reported entire, and dismembered by 
articles. Neither do I exclude opinions of latter times to 
be likewise represented in this kalendar of sects of philo- 
sophy, as that of Theophrastus Paracelsus, 1 eloquently 
reduced into a harmony by the pen of Severinus the Dane : 2 
and that of Telesius 3 and his scholar Donius, being as a 
pastoral philosophy, full of sense, but of no great depth; 
and that of Fracastorius, 4 who, though he pretended not to 
make any new philosophy, yet did use the absoluteness of 
his own sense upon the old; and that of Gilbertus our 
countryman, 5 6 who revived, with some alterations and 
demonstrations, the opinions of Xenophanes : and any other 
worthy to be admitted. 

Thus have we now dealt with two of the three beams 
of man's knowledge; that is, radius directus , which is 
referred to nature; radius refr actus, which is referred to 
God, and cannot report truly because of the inequality of 
the medium . There resteth radius refiexus , whereby man 
beholdeth and contemplateth himself. 

We come therefore now to that knowledge whereunto the 
ancient oracle directeth us, which is the knowledge of our- 
selves;* which deserveth the more accurate handling, by 
how much it toucheth us more nearly. This knowledge, as 
it is the end and term of natural philosophy in the intention 
of man, so notwithstanding it is but a portion of natural 
philosophy in the continent of nature: and generally let 
this be a rule, that all partitions of knowledges be accepted; 
rather for lines and veins than for sections and separations; 
and that the continuance and entireness of knowledge be 

1 Paracelsus (von Hohenheim), enthusiast and alchemist, bom 
a.d. 1493, died a.d. 1541. He, though in a purposely obscure way, 
did much service to experimental philosophy. 

2 Severinus, a Danish physician, died in 1602. 

3 Telesius, born in 1509 at Cosenza; who, as Bacon adds in the 
Latin, revived the philosophy of Parmenides. 

4 Fracastorius, born in 1483 at Verona; a man of greatest worth, 
disinterestedness, and capacity; whether as Poet, Philosopher, 

Physician, Astronomer, or Mathematician. But of course Bacon 
has no good word for him. 

6 Gilbertus, Court Physician to Elizabeth and James X., a great 
experimentalist and discoverer in Magnetism. Bacon seems to 
have regarded him with especial ill-will. 

• Plat. A Icib. Pr. ii. 1 24. 






§8 ■ 
i > 
a * 


i - ! 


preserved. For the contrary hereof hath made particular 
sciences to become barren, shallow, and erroneous, while 
they have not been nourished and maintained from the 
common fountain. So we see Cicero the orator complained 
of Socrates and his school that he was the first that separated 
philosophy and rhetoric ; 1 whereupon rhetoric became an 
empty and verbal art. So we may see that the opinion of 
Copernicus touching the rotation of the earh, which astro- 
nomy itself cannot correct, because it is not repugnant to 
any of the phenomena, yet natural philosophy may correct. 
So we see also that the science of medicine, if it be destituted 
and forsaken by natural philosophy, it is not much better 
than an empirical practice. With this reservation there- 
fore we proceed to human philosophy or humanity, which 
hath two parts : the one considereth man segregate or distri - 
butively ; the other congregate or in society. So as human 
philosophy is either simple and particular, or conjugate 
and civil. 

Humanity particular consisteth of the same parts whereof 
man consisteth; that is, of knowledges which respect the 
body, and of knowledges which respect the mind. But 
before we distribute so far, it is good to constitute. For I 
do take the consideration in general and at large of human 
nature to be fit to be emancipate and made a knowledge by 
itself: not so much in regard of those delightful and elegant 
discourses which have been made of the dignity of man, of 
his miseries, of his state and life, and the like adjuncts of his 
common and undivided nature; but chiefly in regard of 
the knowledge concerning the sympathies and concordances 
between the mind and body, which being mixed cannot 
be properly assigned to the sciences of either. 

This knowledge hath two branches: for as all leagues and 
amities consist of mutual intelligence and mutual offices, so 
this league of mind and body hath these two parts ; how the 
one discloseth the other, and how the one worketh upon the 
other; discovery and impression. The former of these hath 
begotten two arts, both of prediction or prenotion ,* whereof 
the one is honoured with the inquiry of Aristotle, and the 
other of Hippocrates . 2 And although they have of later 
time been used to be coupled with superstitious and fantasti- 
cal arts, yet being purged and restored to their true state, 

1 Cic. de Orat. iii. 16, 17. 2 In his Pvmnotiones, 

Advancement of Learning 107 

they have both of them a solid ground in nature, and a 
profitable use in life. The first is physiognomy, which dis- 
covered the disposition of the mind by the lineaments of 
the body : the second is the exposition of natural dreams 
which discovereth the state of the body by the imaginations 
of the mind. In the former of these I note a deficience. 
For Aristotle hath very ingeniously and diligently handled 
the factures of the body, but not the gestures of the body, 
which are no less comprehensible by art, and of greater use 
and advantage . 1 For the lineaments of the body do disclose 
the disposition and inclination of the mind in general; but 
the motions of the countenance and parts do not only so, but 
do further disclose the present humour and state of the mind 
and will. For as your majesty saith most aptly and ele- 
gantly, As the tongue speaketh to the ear so the gesture speaketh 
to the eye . 2 And therefore a number of subtle persons, 
whose eyes do dwell upon the faces and fashions of men, do 
well know the advantage of this observation, as being most 
part of their ability ; neither can it be denied, but that it is 
a great discovery of dissimulations, and a great direction in 

The latter branch, touching impression, hath not been 
collected into art, but hath been handled dispersedly; and 
it hath the same relation or antistrophe that the former hath. 
For the consideration is double: either how, and how far the 
humours and affects of the body do alter or work upon the mind; 
or again, how and how far the passions or apprehensions of the 
mind do alter or work upon the body. The former of these 
hath been inquired and considered as a part and appendix 
of medicine, but much more as a part of religion or super- 
stition. For the physician prescribeth cures of the mind 
in phrensies and melancholy passions ; and pretendeth also 
to exhibit medicines to exhilarate the mind, to co nfir m the 
courage, to clarify the wits, to corroborate the memory, 
and the like : but the scruples and superstitions of diet and 
other regimen of the body in the sect of the Pythagoreans, 
in the heresy of the Manicheans, and in the law of Mohomet, 

1 In the treatises on the History and Parts of Animals. The 
subject of Gesture may be said to come under the short treatises on 
the External Phenomena of the Animal Kingdom: and in that on 
the Motion of Animals. 

2 Spedding gives Basilikon Boron, bk. iii., as the place whence this 
quotation comes. Cf. Horace, A. P., 180, 181. 



do exceed. So likewise the ordinances in the ceremonial 
law, interdicting the eating of the blood and the fat, dis- 
tinguishing between beasts clean and unclean for meat, are 
many and strict. Nay the faith itself being clear and 
serene from all clouds of ceremony, yet retaineth the use of 
fastings, abstinences, and other macerations and humilia- 
tions of the body, as things real, and not figurative. The 
root and life of all of which prescripts is, besides the cere- 
mony, the consideration of that dependency which the affec- 
tions of the mind are submitted unto upon the state and 
disposition of the body. And if any man of weak judgment 
do conceive that this suffering of the mind from the body 
doth either question the immortality, or derogate from the 
sovereignty of the soul, he may be taught in easy instances 
that the infant in the mother’s womb is compatible with 
the mother and yet separable ; 1 and the most absolute 
monarch is sometimes led by his servants and yet without 
subjection. As for the reciprocal knowledge, which is the 
operation of the conceits and passions of the mind upon the 
body, we see all wise physicians, in the prescriptions of their 
regiments to their patients, do ever consider accidentia 
animi as of great force to further or hinder remedies or 
recoveries: and more especially it is an inquiry of great 
depth and worth concerning imagination, how and how far 
it altereth the body proper of the imaginant. For although 
it hath a manifest power to hurt, it followeth not it hath the 
same degree of power to help; no more than a man can 
conclude, that because there be pestilent airs able suddenly 
to kill a man in health, therefore there should be sovereign 
airs able suddenly to cure a man in sickness. But the 
inquisition of this part is of great use, though it needeth, as 
Socrates said, a Delian diver? being difficult and profound. 
But unto all this knowledge de communi vinculo , of the con- 
cordances between the mind and the body, that part of 
inquiry is most necessary, which considereth of the seats 
and domiciles which the several faculties of the mind do 
take and occupate in the organs of the body; which know- 
ledge hath been attempted, and is controverted, and 

1 Qui simnl cum matris affectibus compatitur, et tamen e corpore 
matns suo tempore excluditur. De A ugm. 

a Diog. Laert. ii. 22. Socrates speaks of a work of Heraclitu? 
which Euripides had lent him : “ Delio quopiam natatore indiget.* 

Advancement of Learning 109 

deserveth to be much better inquired. For the opinion of 
Plato , 1 2 who placed the understanding in the brain, animosity 
(which he did unfitly call anger, having a greater mixture 
with pride) in the heart, and concupiscence or sensuality in 
the liver, deserveth not to de despised; but much less to be 
allowed. _ So then we have constituted, as in our own wish 
and advice, the inquiry touching human nature entire, as a 
just portion of knowledge to be handled apart. 

The knowledge that concerneth man’s body is divided as 
the good of man’s body is divided, unto which it referreth. 
The good of man’s body is of four kinds. Health, Beauty, 
Strength, and Pleasure : so the knowledges are Medicine, or 
art of Cure; art of Decoration, which is called Cosmetic; 
art of Activity, which is called Athletic; and art Voluptuary,' 
which Tacitus truly calleth eruditus luxus? This subject 
of man’s body is of all other things in nature most suscep- 
tible of remedy; but then that remedy is most susceptible 
of error. For the same subtility of the subject doth 
r cause large possibility and easy failing; and therefore the 
inquiry ought to be the more exact. 

To speak therefore of Medicine, and to resume that we 
have said, ascending a little higher: the ancient opinion that 
man was microcosmus, an abstract or model of the world, 
hath been fantastically strained by Paracelsus 3 and the 
alchemists, as if there were to be found in man’s body 
certain correspondences and parallels, which should have 
respect to all varieties of things, as stars, planets, minerals, 
which are extant in the great world. But thus much is 
evidently true, that of all substances which nature hath 
produced, man’s body is the most extremely compounded. 
For we see herbs and plants are nourished by earth and 
water; beasts for the most part by herbs and fruits; man 
by the flesh of beasts, birds, fishes, herbs, grains, fruits, 
water, and the manifold alterations, dressings, and prepara- 

1 Plat. Tim. 69, 70 (Steph.). In the head, to Btiov : then below 
the isthmus of the neck, the mortal part of man; first rb jatrexov 
rijs tyvxns avdpelas Kal dvfxov] (so that Bacon is scarcely right in his 
censure; for neither avdpeia nor 6 v fibs is anger)] then the diaphragm 
to divide the parts; then in the heart he placed d&ppos Kai ; 
and below it rb iTCLQvfirjriKbv, ibarrep 4 v tpdrvr} . . . Karadedefitvop — in 
the liver. 

2 Tac. Ann . xvi. 18. 

8 See Ellis and Spedding's note to Nov. Org. ii. 48 (p. 339). 

I 10 


tions of the several bodies, before they come to be his food 
and aliment. Add hereunto, that beasts have a more simple 
order of life, and less change of affections to work upon 
their bodies: whereas man in his mansion, sleep, exercise, 
passions, hath infinite variations: and it cannot be denied 
but that the Body of man of all other things is of the 
most compounded mass. The Soul on the other side is the 
simplest of substances, as is well expressed: 

Purumque reliquit 

iEthereum sensum atque aural simplicis ignem. 1 

So that it is no marvel though the soul so placed enjoy no 
rest, if that principle be true, that Motus rerum est rapidus 
extra locum, placidus in loco . But to the purpose: this 
variable composition of man's body hath made it as an 
instrument easy to distemper ; and therefore the poets did 
well to conjoin Music and Medicine in Apollo , 2 because the 
office of Medicine is but to tune this curious harp of man's 
body and to reduce it to harmony. So then the subject 
being so variable, hath made the art by consequence more 
conjectural; and the art being conjectural hath made so 
much the more place to be left for imposture. For almost 
all other arts and sciences are judged by acts, or master- 
pieces, as I may term them, and not by the successes and 
events. The lawyer is judged by the virtue of his pleading, 
and not by the issue of the cause; the master of the ship is 
judged by the directing his course aright, and not by the 
fortune of the voyage; but the physician, and perhaps the 
politique, hath no particular acts demonstrative of his 
ability, but is judged most by the event ; which is ever but 
as it is taken : for who can tell if a patient die or recover, or 
if a state be preserved or ruined, whether it be art or acci- 
dent ? And therefore many times the impostor is prized, 
and the man of virtue taxed. Nay, we see the weakness 
and credulity of men is such, as they will often prefer a 
mountebank 3 or witch before a learned physician. And 
therefore the poets were clear-sighted in discerning this 
extreme folly, when they made iFsculapius and Circe 

1 Mn - vi * 747 * 2 Ovid, Metam. i. 521. 

3 Montabank — in the old editions — from montambanco , a quack- 

doctor. Holland, in his Plutarch, renders the word mount-bank . 
The word was confined in meaning to a quack in Bacon's day. 

Advancement of Learning 1 1 1 

brother and sister, both children of the sun, as in the verses, 

Ipse repertorem medicinse talis et artis 

Fulmine Phcebigenam Stygias detrusit ad undas: 1 * 

And again, 

Dives inaccessos ubi Solis filia lucos, etc. 8 

For in all times, in the opinion of the multitude, witches and 
old women and impostors have had a competition with 
physicians. And what followeth? Even this, that physi- 
cians say to themselves as Salomon expresseth it upon a 
higher occasion ; If it befall to me as befalleth to the fools, 
why should I labour to be more wise ? 3 And therefore I can- 
not much blame physicians, that they use commonly to 
intend some other art or practice, which they fancy more 
than their profession. For you shall have of them anti- 
quaries, poets, humanists, statesmen, merchants, divines, 
and in every of these better seen than in their profession ; 
and no doubt upon this ground, that they find that medio- 
crity and excellency in their art maketh no difference in 
profit or reputation towards their fortune ; for the weakness 
of patients, and sweetness of life, and nature of hope, 
maketh men depend upon physicians with all their defects. 
But nevertheless, these things which we have spoken of, 
are courses begotten between a little occasion, and a great 
deal of sloth and default ; for if we will excite and awake our 
observation, we shall see in familiar instances what a pre- 
dominant faculty the subtilty of spirit hath over the variety 
of matter or form : nothing more variable than faces and 
countenances: yet men can bear in memory the infinite 
distinctions of them; nay, a painter with a few shells of 
colours, and the benefit of his eye and habit of his imagina- 
tion, can imitate them all that ever have been, are, or may 
be, if they were brought before him : nothing more variable 
than voices ; yet men can likewise discern them personally : 
nay, you shall have a buffoon or pantomimusf who will 
express as many as he pleaseth. Nothing more variable 
than the differing sounds of words; yet men have found 

1 Virg. Mn. vii. 772. 8 Ibid. vii. 11. 3 * Eccles. ii. 15. 

4 Buff on, or pantomimus , in the original; showing that the words 

were newly imported into the English tongue. The pantomime 

was then a person, not a play. 

ix2 Bacon 

the way to reduce them to a few simple letters. So that it 
is not the insufficiency or incapacity of man’s mind, but it is 
the remote standing or placing thereof, that breedeth these 
mazes and incomprehensions: for as the sense afar off is 
full of mistaking, but is exact at hand, so is it of the 
understanding; the remedy whereof is, not to quicken or 
strengthen the organ, but to go nearer to the object; and 
therefore there is no doubt but if the physicians will learn 
and use the true approaches and avenues of nature, they 
may assume as much as the poet saith : 

Et quoniam variant morbi, variabimns artes; 

Mille mali species, mille salutis erunt. 1 

Which that they should do, the nobleness of their art doth 
deserve; well shadowed by the poets, in that they made 
iEsculapius to be the son of the sun, the one being the 
fountain of life, the other as the second stream: but 
infinitely more honoured by the example of our Saviour, 
who made the body of man the object of His miracles, as 
the soul was the object of His doctrine. For we read not 
that ever He vouchsafed to do any miracle about honour or 
money, except that one for giving tribute to Caesar; 2 but 
only about the preserving, sustaining, and healing the body 
of man. 

Medicine is a science which hath been, as we said, more 
professed than laboured, and yet more laboured than 
advanced; the labour having been, in my judgment, rather 
in circle than in progression. For I find much iteration, 
but small addition. It considereth causes of diseases , with 
the occasions or impulsions; the diseases themselves , with 
the accidents ; and the cures , with the preservations. The 
deficiencies which I think good to note, being a few of many, 
and those such as are of a more open and manifest nature, 
I will enumerate, and not place. 

The first is the discontinuance of the ancient and serious 
diligence of Hippocrates , 3 which used to set down a narra- 
tive of the special cases of his patients, and how they pro- 
ceeded, and how they were judged by recovery or death. 
Therefore having an example proper in the father of the art, 
I shall not need to allege an example foreign, of the wisdom 

1 Ovid, H. A., 525. 2 Matt. xvii. 27. 

8 liippocr. De Epidemiis. 

Advancement of Learning 1 1 3 

of the lawyers, who are careful to report new cases and 
decisions for the direction of future judgments. This con- 
tinuance of medicinal history I find deficient ; which I under- 
stand neither to be so infinite as to extend to every common 
case, nor so reserved as to admit none but wonders: for 
many things are new in the manner, which are not new in 
the kind; and if men will intend to observe, they shall find 
much worthy to observe. 

In the inquiry which is made by Anatomy, I find much 
deficience: for they inquire of the parts, and their sub- 
stances, figures, and collocations ; but they inquire not of 
the. diversities of the farts, the secrecies of the passages, and 
the seats or nestlings of the humours, nor much of the foot- 
steps and impressions of diseases : the reason of which 
omission I suppose to be, because the first inquiry may 
be satisfied in the view of one or a few anatomies: but the 
latter, being comparative and casual, must arise from the 
view of many. And as to the diversity of parts, there is no 
doubt but the facture or framing of the inward parts is as 
full of difference as the outward, and in that is the cause 
continent of many diseases; which not being observed, they 
quarrel many times with humours, which are not in fault; 
the fault being in the very frame and mechanic of the part, 
which cannot be removed by medicine alterative, but must 
be accommodate and palliate by diets and medicines 
familiar. As for the passages and pores, it is true which 
was anciently noted, that the more subtle of them appear 
not in anatomies, because they are shut and latent in dead 
bodies, though they be open and manifest in live: which 
being supposed, though the inhumanity of anatomia vivorum 
was by Celsus justly reproved ; 1 yet in regard of the great 
use of this observation, the inquiry needed not by him so 
slightly to have been relinquished altogether, or referred to 
the casual practices of surgery; but mought have been well 
diverted upon the dissection of beasts alive, which notwith- 
standing the dissimilitude of their parts, may sufficiently 
satisfy this inquiry. _ And for the humours, they are com- 
monly passed over in anatomies as purgaments; whereas 
it is most necessary to observe, what cavities, nests, and 
recptacles the humours do find in the parts, with the differ- 
ing kind of the humour so lodged and received. And as for 
1 De Re Medicd, i. i. 


the footsteps of diseases and their devastations of the inward 
parts, imposthumations, exulcerations, discontinuations, 
putrefactions, consumptions, contractions, extensions, con- 
vulsions, dislocations, obstructions, repletions, together 
with all preternatural substances, as stones, camosities, 
excrescences, worms, and the like; they ought to have been 
exactly observed by multitude of anatomies, and the contri- 
bution of men's several experiences, and carefully set down, 
both historically, according to the appearances, and artifi- 
cially, with a reference to the diseases and symptoms which 
resulted from them, in case where the anatomy is of a defunct 
patient; whereas now, upon opening of bodies, they are 
passed over slightly and in silence, 

In the inquiry of diseases, they do abandon the cures of 
many, some as in their nature incurable, and others as past 
the period of cure; so that Sylla and the Triumvirs never 
proscribed so many men to die, as they do by their ignorant 
edicts: whereof numbers do escape with less difficulty than 
they did in the Roman proscriptions. Therefore I will not 
doubt to note as a deficience, that they inquire not the 
perfect cures of many diseases, or extremities of diseases; 
but pronouncing them incurable, do enact a law of neglect, 
and exempt ignorance from discredit. 

Nay, further, I esteem it the office of a physician not only 
to restore health, but to mitigate pain and dours; and not 
only when such mitigation may conduce to recovery, but 
when it may serve to make a fair and easy passage : for it is 
no small felicity which Augustus Caesar was wont to wish 
to himself, that same Euthanasia ; 1 and which was especi- 
ally noted in the death of Antoninus Pius, whose death was 
after the fashion and semblance of a kindly and pleasant 
sleep. So it is written of Epicurus, that after his disease 
was judged desperate, he drowned his stomach and senses 
with a large draught and ingurgitation of wine; where- 
upon the epigram was made, Hinc Stygias ebrius hausit 
aquas ; 2 he was not sober enough to taste any bitterness of 

1 Suet. Vit. Aug. c. 99. 

2 ~ — — rov atcparov 

"J&crTacrev, etr* ’Atdyv pvxpbv iireairdcraTO. 

Diog. Laert. x. 15 (Vit Epic.). 

No ebrius here; protenus and Icetius are suggested; but either 
emendation would rob the story of its point. 


Advancement of Learning 1 1 5 

the Stygian water. But the physicians contrariwise do 
make a land of scruple and religion to stay with the patient 
alter the disease is deplored; whereas, in my judgment, 
they ought both to inquire the skill and to give the atten- 
dances for the facilitating and assuaging of the pains and 
agonies of death. 

In^ the consideration of the cures of diseases, I find a 
dencience in the receipts of propriety , 1 respecting the 
particular cures and diseases: for the physicians have 
frustrated fruit of tradition and experience by their 
magistracies, in adding, and taking out, and changing quid 
pro quo, m their receipts at their pleasures; commanding so 
^ er . e me dicine, as the medicine cannot command over 
the diseases: for except it be treacle and mithridatum? 
and of late diascordtum, and a few more, they tie themselves 
to no receipts severely and religiously : for as to the confec- 
tions of sale which are in the shops, they are for readiness 
and not for propriety; for they are upon general intention 
of purging, opening, comforting, altering, and not much 
appropriate to particular diseases : and this is the cause why 
empirics and old women are more happy many times 
m their cures than learned physicians, because they are 
more religious m holding their medicines. Therefore here 
is the dencience which I find, that physicians have not, 
partly put of their own practice, partly out of the constant 
probations reported in books, and partly out of the tradi- 
tions of empirics,, set down and delivered over certain 
experimental medicines for the cure of particular diseases, 
besides their own conjectural and magistral descriptions. 
For as they were the men of the best composition in the 
state of Rome, which either being consuls inclined to the 
people, or being tribunes inclined to the senate; so in the 
matter we now handle, they be the best physicians, which 

- 1 Receipts of propriety, i.e. proper or fit for each particular disease. 

, 1 reacle and mithndatum. In the frontispiece to the edition of 
Hippocrates, which I consulted, BnptaKbv and M t 0 ptdariKbv were 
placed side by side as the chief remedies. By treacle (therias) is 
meant, not the syrup of sugar, etc., but a composition of the parts 
of vipers ; good for the cure of serpents 1 bites, and for other medicinal 
purposes. Mithndate (from king Mithridates' antidote) was a 
medicine of general use. " Was it not strange, a physician should 
decline exhibiting of Mithridate, because it was a known medicine 
and famous for its cures many ages since? ” Boyle's Works, ii! 
p, 218. Diascordium is said to have been invented by Fracastorius! 


1 16 

being learned incline to the traditions of experience, or 
being empirics incline to the methods of learning. 

In preparation of medicines, I do find strange, especially 
considering how mineral medicines have been extolled , 1 and 
that they are safer for the outward than inward parts, that 
no man hath sought to make an imitation by art of natural 
baths and medicinable fountains: which nevertheless are 
confessed to receive their virtues from minerals: and not 
so only, but discerned and distinguished from what particu- 
lar mineral they receive tincture, as sulphur, vitriol, steel, 
or the like; which nature, if it maybe reduced to composi- 
tions of art, both the variety of them will be increased, and 
the temper of them will be more commanded. 

But lest I grow to be more particular than is agreeable 
either to my intention or to proportion, I will conclude this 
part with the note of one deficience more, which seemeth to 
me of greatest consequence; which is, that the prescripts 
in use are too compendious to attain their end: for, to my 
understanding, it is a vain and flattering opinion to think 
any medicine can be so sovereign or so happy, as that the 
receipt or use of it can work any great effect upon the body 
of man. It were a strange speech, which spoken, or spoken 
oft, should reclaim a man from a vice to which he were by 
nature subject: it is order, pursuit, sequence, and inter- 
change of application, which is mighty in nature; which 
although it require more exact knowledge in prescribing, 
and more precise obedience in observing, yet is recompensed 
with the magnitude of effects. And although a man would 
think, by the daily visitations of the physicians, that there 
were a pursuance in the cure : yet let a man look into their 
prescripts and ministrations, and he shall find them but 
inconstancies and every day's devices/without any settled 
providence or project. Not that every scrupulous or super- 
stitious prescript is effectual, no more than every straight 
way is the way to heaven; but the truth of the direction 
must precede severity of observance . 2 

For Cosmetic, it hath parts civil, and parts effeminate: 

1 By Paracelsus and his school, who were chiefly distinguished by 
their use of mineral medicines. 

* The passage in the Latin on the prolongation of Life, which is 
inserted at this point, is most curious. It was a subject to which 
Bacon had evidently turned his attention; for he often refers to it, 
and had great hopes respecting it. 

Advancement of Learning 1 17 

for cleanness of body was ever esteemed to proceed from a 
due reverence to pod, to society, and to ourselves. As for 
artificial decoration, it is well worthy of the deficiencies 
which it hath; being neither fine enough to deceive, nor 
to use, nor wholesome to please. 

For Athletic, I take the subject of it largely, that is to say, 
for any point of ability whereunto the body of man may be 
brought, whether it be of activity , or of patience; whereof 
activity hath two parts, strength and swiftness; and patience 
likewise hath two parts, hardness against wants and extremi- 
ties, and endurance of pain or torment; whereof we see the 
practices in tumblers, in savages, and in those that suffer 
punishment: nay, if there be any other faculty which falls 
not within any of the former divisions, as in those that dive, 
that obtain a strange power of containing respiration, and 
the like, I refer to it this part. Of these things the practices 
are known, ^ but the philosophy that concerneth them is not 
much inquired; the rather, I think, because they are sup- 
posed to be obtained, either by an aptness of nature, which 
cannot be taught, or only by continual custom, which is 
soon prescribed: which though it be not true, yet I forbear 
to note any deficiencies: for the Olympian games are down 
long since, and the mediocrity of these things is for use; as 
for the excellency of them it serveth for the most part but 
for mercenary ostentation. 

For arts of pleasure sensual , the chief defieience in them 
is of laws to repress them . 1 For as it hath been well 
observed, that the arts which flourish in times while virtue 
is in growth, are military ; and while virtue is in state, are 
liberal ; and while virtue is in declination, are voluptuary ; 
so I doubt that this age of the world is somewhat upon 
the decent of the wheel. With arts voluptuary I couple 
practices joculary; for the deceiving of the senses is one of 
the pleasures of the senses. As for games of recreation, 

I hold them to belong to civil life and education. And thus 
much of that particular human philosophy which concerns 
the body, which is but the tabernacle of the mind. 

For Human Knowledge which concerns the Mind, it hath 
two parts ; the one that inquireth of the substance or nature 

1 This subject is very differently treated in the Latin. He there 
introduces music and painting, not as things to be repressed, but 



1 1 8 

of the soul or mind, the other that inquireth of the faculties 
or functions thereof. Unto the first of these, the considera- 
tions of the original of the soul, whether it be native or 
adventive, and how far it is exempted from laws of matter, 
and of the immortality thereof, and many other points, do 
appertain: which have been not more laboriously inquired 
than variously reported; so as the travail therein taken 
seemeth to have been rather in a maze than in a way. But 
although I am of opinion that this knowledge may be more 
really and soundly inquired, even in nature, than it hath 
been; yet I hold that in the end it must be bounded by 
religion, or else it will be subject to deceit and delusion : for 
as the substance of the soul in the creation was not ex- 
tracted out of the mass of heaven and earth by the benedic- 
tion of a producat but was immediately inspired from God : 
so it is not possible that it should be (otherwise than by 
accident) subject to the laws of heaven and earth, which are 
the subject of philosophy; and therefore the true know- 
ledge of the nature and state of the soul must come by the 
same inspiration that gave the substance. Unto this part 
of knowledge touching the soul there be two appendices; 
which, as they have been handled, have rather vapoured 
forth fables than kindled truth, Divination and Fascina- 

Divination hath been anciently and fitly divided into 
artificial and natural; whereof artificial is, when the mind 
maketh a prediction by argument, concluding upon signs 
and tokens; natural is when the mind hath a presention by 
an internal power, without the inducement of a sign. 
Artificial is of two sorts; either when the argument is 
coupled with a derivation of causes, which is rational; or 
when it is only grounded upon a coincidence of the effect, 
which is experimental: whereof the latter for the most part 
is superstitious; such as were the heathen observations 
upon the inspection of sacrifices, the flights of birds, the 
swarming of bees; and such as was the Chaldean astrology, 
and the like. . For artificial divination, the several kinds 
thereof are distributed amongst particular knowledges. 
The astronomer hath his predictions, as of conjunctions, 
aspects, eclipses, and the like. The physician hath his 
predictions of death, of recovery, of the accidents and issues 
of diseases. The Politique hath his predictions; 0 urbem 

Advancement of Learning 1 1 9 

venalem, et cito perituram, si emptorem invenerit ! 1 which 
stayed not long to be performed, in Sylla first, and after in 
Csesar. So as these predictions are now impertinent, and 
to be referred over. But the divination which springeth 
from the internal nature of the soul, is that which we now 
speak of; which hath been made to be of two sorts, primi- 
tive and by influxion. Primitive is grounded upon the 
supposition, that the mind, when it is withdrawn and 
collected into itself, and not diffused into the organs of the 
body, hath some extent and latitude of prenotion; which 
therefore appeareth most in sleep, in ecstasies, and near 
death, and more rarely in waking apprehensions; and is 
induced and furthered by those abstinences and observ- 
ances which make the mind most to consist in itself By 
influxion, is grounded upon the conceit that the mind, as 
a mirror or glass, should take illumination from the fore- 
knowledge of God and spirits : 2 unto which the same regi- 
ment doth likewise conduce. For the retiring of the mind 
within itself, is the state which is most susceptible of divine 
influxions; save that it is accompanied in this case with a 
fervency and elevation, which the ancients noted by fury, 
and not with a repose and quiet, as it is in the other. 

Fascination is the power and act of imagination intentive 
upon other bodies than the body of the imaginant, for of 
that we spake in the proper place: wherein the school of 
Paracelsus, and the disciples of pretended Natural Magic 
have been so intemperate, as they have exalted the power of 
the imagination to be much one with the power of miracle- 
working faith; others, that draw nearer to probability, 
calling to their view the secret passages of things, and 
specially of the contagion that passeth from body to body, 
do conceive it should likewise be agreeable to nature, that 
there should be some transmissions and operations from 
spirit to spirit without the mediation of the senses; whence 
the conceits have grown, now almost made civil, of the 
mastering spirit, and the force of confidence, and the like. 
Incident unto this is the inquiry how to raise and fortify 
the imagination: for if the imagination fortified have 
power, then it is material to know how to fortify and exalt 

1 Sail. Jug, c. xxxv. 

* Plat. Tim . 71 (Stepll.), olov iv KarSirTpip SeKopL^vcp r&rrovs, and. note 
the observation on pLavrifd], at the same place. 



it. And herein comes in crookedly and dangerously a 
palliation of a great part of Ceremonial Magic. For it may 
be pretended that Ceremonies, Characters, and Charms, do 
work, not by any tacit or sacramental contract with evil 
spirits, but serve only to strengthen the imagination of him 
that useth it : as images are said by the Roman church to 
fix the cogitations, and raise the devotions of them that 
pray before them. But for mine own judgment, if it be 
admitted that imagination hath power, and that Ceremonies 
fortify imagination, and that they be used sincerely and 
intentionally for that purpose ; 1 yet I should hold them 
unlawful, as opposing to that first edict which God gave 
unto man, In sudor e vultus comedes panem tuum . 2 For they 
propound those noble effects, which God hath set forth unto 
man to be bought at the price of labour, to be attained by a 
few easy and slothful observances. Deficiencies in these 
knowledges I will report none, other than the general defici- 
ence, that it is not known how much of them is verity, and 
how much vanity . 3 

The Knowledge which respecteth the faculties of the 
mind of man is of two kinds ; the one respecting his Under- 
standing and Reason, and the other his Will, Appetite, and 
Affection; whereof the former produceth -Position or 
Decree, the latter Action or Execution. It is true that the 
Imagination is an agent or nuncius, in both provinces, both 
the judicial and the ministerial. For Sense sendeth over 
to Imagination before Reason have judged: and Reason 
sendeth over to Imagination before the decree can be acted: 
for Imagination ever precedeth Voluntary Motion. Saving 
that this Janus of Imagination hath differing faces: for the 
face towards Reason hath the print of Truth, but the face 
towards Action hath the print of Good ; which nevertheless 
are faces, 

Quales decet esse sororum. 4 

Neither is the Imagination simply and only a messenger; 

1 Ceremonies, The word does not now convey quite the s am e 
sense; for in these passages Bacon refers to invocation of spirits - 
saying (as we gather also from the Latin) that they are illicit, though 
used only as physical remedies without any incantation. 

2 Gen. iii. 19. 

3 In the Latin, two desiderata are noticed; Voluntary Motion, 

and Sense and the Sensible: together with a curious discourse on 
the Form of Light. 4 Ovid. Met am. ii. 14. 

I 2 I 

Advancement of Learning 

but is invested with, or at leastwise usurpeth no small 
authority in itself, besides the duty of the message. For 
it was well said by Aristotle, That the mind hath over the 
body that commandment , which the lord hath over a bondman ; 
but that reason hath over the imagination that commandment 
which a magistrate hath over a free citizen; 1 who may come 
also to rule in his turn. For we see that, in matters of Faith 
and Religion, we raise our Imagination above our Reason; 
which is the cause why Religion sought ever access to the 
mind by similitude, types, parables, visions, dreams. And 
again, in all persuasions that are wrought by eloquence, and 
other impressions of like nature, which do paint and disguise 
the true appearance of things, the chief recommenda- 
tion unto Reason is from the Imagination . 2 Nevertheless, 
because I find not any science that doth properly or fitly 
pertain to the Imagination, I see no cause to alter the 
former division. For as for poesy, it is rather a pleasure or 
play of Imagination, than a work or duty thereof. And if 
it be a work, we speak not now of such parts of learning as 
the Imagination produceth, but of such sciences as handle 
and consider of the Imagination; no more than we shall 
speak now of such knowledges as reason produceth, for that 
extendeth to all philosophy, but of such knowledges as do 
handle and inquire the faculty of reason : so as poesy had 
its true place. As for the power of the Imagination in 
nature, and the manner of fortifying the same, we have 
mentioned it in the doctrine De Anima , whereunto it most 
fitly belongeth. And lastly, for Imaginative or Insinuative 
Reason, which is the subject of Rhetoric, we think it best to 
refer it to the Arts of Reason, So therefore we content 
ourselves with the former division, that human philosophy, 
which respecteth the faculties of the mind of man, hath 
two parts, rational and moral. 

The part of human philosophy which is rational, is of all 
knowledges, to the most wits, the least delightful; and 
seemeth but a net of subtilty and spinosity. For as it was 
truly said, that knowledge is Pabulum animi , 3 so in the 

1 Aristot. Polit. i. 5 , 6 ; where appetite , is the term here 

rendered by imagination . 

2 1.e. Rhetoric aims at the feelings rather than at the cool judg- 
ment, and inflames Imagination till she overpowers Reason. 

3 Cic. Acad . iv. ad Lucullum, 32 a. (Steph. 225). Est enim ani - 
morum ingeniorumque naturale quoddam quasi pabulum conside- 



nature of men's appetite to this food, most men are of the 
taste and stomach of the Israelites in the desert, that would 
fain have returned ad olios carnium} and were weary of 
manna; which, though it were celestial, yet seemed less 
nutritive and comfortable. So generally men taste well 
knowledges that are drenched in flesh and blood, civil 
history, morality, policy, about the which men's affections, 
praises, fortunes do turn and are conversant ; but this same 
lumen siccum doth parch and offend most men's watery and 
soft natures. But to speak truly of things as they are in 
worth, Rational Knowledges are the keys of all other arts, 
for as Aristotle saith, aptly and elegantly, That the hand is 
the instrument of instruments, and the mind is the form of 
forms: 2 so these be truly said to be the art of arts : neither 
do they only direct, but likewise confirm and strengthen: 
even as the habit of shooting doth not only enable to shoot 
a nearer shoot, but also to draw a stronger bow. 

The Arts intellectual are four in number; divided accord- 
ing to the ends whereunto they are referred: for man's 
labour is to invent that which is sought or propounded; or 
to judge that which is invented ; or to retain that which is 
judged; or to deliver over that which is retained. So as the 
arts must be four: Art of Inquiry or Invention : Art of 
Examination or Judgment : Art of Custody or Memory : and 
Art of Elocution or Tradition. 

Invention is of two kinds, much differing: the one of Arts 
and Sciences; and the other of Speech and Arguments. 
The former of these I do report deficient; which seemeth 
to me to be such a deficience as if in the making of an 
inventory touching the estate of a defunct it should be set 
down that there is no ready money . For as money will fetch 
all other commodities, so this knowledge is that which 
should purchase all the rest. And like as the West Indies 
had never been discovered if the use of the mariner's needle 
had not been first discovered, though the one be vast 
regions, and the other a small motion; so it cannot be 
found strange if sciences be no farther discovered, if the 
art itself of invention and discovery hath been passed over. 

ratio contemplatioque naturae. Or perhaps, De Senect. 14. Si habet 
aliquid tanquam pabulum studii atque doctrines , nihil est otiosa 
senectute jucundius. 

1 Numb. xi. 4-6. 2 Aristot. De Anima, iii. 8. 

Advancement of Learning 123 

That this part of knowledge is wanting, to my judgment 
standeth plainly confessed ; for first. Logic doth not pretend 
to invent sciences, or the axioms of sciences, but passeth it 
over with a Cuique in sua arte credendum . x And Celsus 
acknowledged it gravely, speaking of the Empirical and 
dogmatical sects of physicians, That medicines and cures 
were first found out, and then after the reasons and causes were 
discoursed ; and not the causes first found out , and by light 
from them the medicines and cures discovered . 2 And Plato, 
in his Theaetetus, noteth well. That particulars are infinite , 
and the higher generalities give no sufficient direction : and 
that the pith of all sciences, which maketh the artsman differ 
from the inexpert, is in the middle propositions, which in every 
particular knowledge are taken from tradition and experience . 3 
And therefore we see, that they which discourse of the 
inventions and originals of things, refer them rather to 
chance than to art, and rather to beasts, birds fishes, 
serpents, than to men. 

Dictamnum genitrix Cretasa carpit ab Ida, 

Puberibus caulem foliis et flore comantem 
Purpureo; non ilia feris incognita capris 
Gramina, cum tergo volucres hassere sagittag. 4 

So that it was no marvel, the manner of antiquity being to 
consecrate inventors, that the Egyptians had so few human 
idols in their temples, but almost all brute. 

Gmnigenumque Deum monstra, et latrator Anubis, 

Contra Neptunum, et Venerem, contraque Minervam, etc. 6 

And if you like better the tradition of the Grecians, and 
ascribe the first inventions to men; yet you will rather 
believe that Prometheus first struck the flints, and mar- 
velled at the spark, than that when he first struck the flints 
he expected the spark : and therefore we see the West Indian 
Prometheus 6 had no intelligence with the European, 

1 Ellis and Spedding refer to Arist. Anal . Pr. i. 30; Mr. Markby 
to Eth. Mag. 1. i. 17. Aristotle declares (Rhet. 1. i. 1) that neither 
Rhetoric nor Logic has any proper subject-matter, both being 
purely instrumental; accordingly neither can “ invent sciences/* 

2 De Re Med. i. 1. 

8 Not in the Thecetetus certainly. As Bacon in the Latin intro- 
duces the quotation withs Plato non semel innuit, he probably is 
not quoting any exact passage. 

* Virg. Mn. xii. 412. * ibid. viii. 698. 

6 Refers, doubtless, to the rubbing of two sticks together to 
produce fire. Cf. Nov. Org. n. ii. 16. 

124 Bacon 

because of the rareness with them of flint, that gave the 
first occasion. So as it should seem, that hitherto men are 
rather beholding to a wild goat for surgery, or to a nightin- 
gale for music, or to the ibis for some part of physic, or to the 
pot-lid that flew open for artillery, or generally to chance , 1 
or anything else, than to logic, for the invention of arts and 
sciences. Neither is the form of invention which Virgil 
describeth much other : 

Ut varias usus meditando extunderet artes 
Paulatim. 2 

For if you observe the words well, it is no other method 
than that which brute beasts are capable of, and do put in 
ure; which is a perpetual intending or practising some one 
thing, urged and imposed by an absolute necessity of con- 
servation of being; for so Cicero saith very truly, Usus uni 
rei deditus et naturam et artem scepe vincit . 3 * And therefore 
if it be said of men, 

Labor omnia vincit 
Improbus, et duris urgens in rebus egestas ! A 

it is likewise said of beasts, 

Quis psittaco docuit suum x a W € ? 5 

Who taught the raven in a drought to throw pebbles into a 
hollow tree, where she espied water, that the water might 
rise so as she might come to it ; Who taught the bee to sail 
through such a vast sea of air, and to find the way from a 
field in flower a great way off to her hive ? Who taught the 
ant to bite every grain of com that she burieth in her hill, 
lest it should take root and grow? Add then the word 
extundere, which importeth the extreme difficulty, and the 
word paulatim , which importeth the extreme slowness, and 
we are where we were, even amongst the Egyptians' gods; 
there being little left to the faculty of reason, and nothing 
to the duty of art, for matter of invention. 

Secondly, the Induction which the Logicians speak of, 
and which seemeth familiar with Plato, (whereby the 
Principles of Sciences may be pretended to be invented, and 

1 T£x v V Ttixnv forepge, Kai r^xv r^xv^v. Arist. Eth. Nic. vi. 4. 

* Georg, i. 133. 

* Cic. p. Corn . Balb. xx. 45. * Virg. Georg . i. 145. 

* Pers. Prol. 8, where it is expedivit . 

Advancement of Learning 125 

so the middle propositions by derivation from the Principles; 
their form of induction, I say, is utterly vicious and incom- 
petent : wherein their error is the fouler, because it is the 
duty of Art to perfect and exalt Nature ; but they contrari- 
wise have wronged, abused, and traduced Nature. For he 
that shall attentively observe how the mind doth gather this 
excellent dew of knowledge, like unto that which the poet 
speaketh of, 

Aerei mellis coslestia dona, 1 

distilling and contriving it out of particulars natural and 
artificial, as the flowers of the field and garden, shall find 
that the mind of herself by nature doth manage and act 
an induction much better than they describe it. For to 
conclude upon an enumeration of particulars, without 
instance contradictory, is no conclusion, but a conjecture; 
for who can assure, in many subjects, upon those particulars 
which appear of a side, that there are not other on the con- 
trary side which appear not? As if Samuel should have 
rested upon those sons of Jesse 2 which were brought before 
him, and failed of David, which was in the field . 3 And this 
form, to say truth, is so gross, as it had not been possible for 
wits so subtile as have managed these things to have offered 
it to the world, but that they hasted to their theories and 
dogmaticals, and were imperious and scornful towards 
particulars; which their manner was to use but as lictores 
and viaiores, for sergeants and whiffiers, ad summovendam 
turbam , to make way and make room for their opinions, 
rather than in their true use and service. Certainly it is a 
thing may touch a man with a religious wonder, to see how 
the footsteps of seducement are the very same in divine and 
human truth: for as in divine truth man cannot endure to 
become as a child; so in human, they reputed the attending 
the inductions whereof we speak, as if it were a second 
infancy or childhood. 

Thirdly, allow some principles or axioms were rightly 
induced, yet nevertheless certain it is that middle proposi- 
tions cannot be deduced from them in subject of nature 4 

1 Virg. Georg . iv. i. 

* All the old editions spell the word IssaVi and the De Augm. 

(as a genitive) I sat. 8 i Sam. xvi. 

4 In the Latin, in rebus naturalibus. 

126 Bacon 

by syllogism, that is, by touch and reduction of them to 
principles in a middle term. It is true that in sciences 
popular, as moralities, laws, and the like, yea, and divinity, 
{because it pleaseth God to apply himself to the capacity of 
the simplest,) that form may have use f and in natural 
philosophy likewise, by way of argument or satisfactory 
reason, Qua assensum parit, opens effceta est : 1 but the 
subtlety of nature and operations will not be enchained in 
those bonds: for arguments consist of propositions, and 
propositions of words; and words are but the current tokens 
or marks 2 of popular notions of things; which notions, if 
they be grossly and variably collected out particulars, it is 
not the laborious examination either of consequence of argu- 
ments, or of the truth of propositions, that can ever correct 
that error, being, as the physicians speak, in the first diges- 
tion: and therefore it was not without cause, that so many 
excellent philosophers became Sceptics and Academics, and 
denied any certainty of knowledge or comprehension; and 
held opinion that the knowledge of man extended only to 
appearances and probabilities. It is true that in Socrates 
it was supposed to be but a form of irony, Scientiam dis~ 
simulando simulavit , 3 for he used to disable his knowledge, 
to the end to enhance his knowledge: like the humour of 
Tiberius in his beginnings, that would reign, but would not 
acknowledge so much : 4 5 and in the later Academy, which 
Cicero embraced, this opinion also of acatalepsiap I doubt, 
was not held sincerely: for that all those which excelled in 
copie of speech seem to have chosen that sect, as that which 
was fittest to give glory to their eloquence and variable 
discourses; being rather like progresses of pleasure, than 
journeys to an end. But assuredly many scattered in both 
Academies did hold it in subtilty and integrity: but here 
was their chief error; they charged the deceit upon the 
senses; which in my judgment, notwithstanding all their 

1 This quotation is omitted in the Latin, nor can I find whence it 
comes ; could it be a saying of Bacon’s own ? 

2 Tesseras. Arist. Interp. i. i. 2 — ra tGjv 4 v tt} pvxv vadriudrcov 

*Cic. Acad . ii. 5, 15. Cf. Cic. ad Att. xiii. 19, 3. These very 
words do not occur. 

4 Tac. Ann. i. 7, 11. 

5 Cic. Acad. ii. 6 , 18. where KardXripts only is mentioned. Cf. 

Nov. Org. i. 37. • 

Advancement of Learning 1 27 

cavilations, are very sufficient to certify and report truth 
though not always immediately, yet by comparison, by help 
of instrument, and by producing and urging such things 
as are too subtile for the sense to some effect comprehensible 
by the sense, and other like assistance. But they ought to 
have charged the deceit upon the weakness of the intellec- 
tual powers, and upon the manner of collecting and con- 
cluding upon the reports of the senses. This I speak, not to 
disable the mind of man, but to stir it up to seek help : for 
no man, be he never so cunning or practised, can make a 
straight line or perfect circle by steadiness of hand, which 
may be easily done by help of a ruler or compass. 

This part of invention, concerning the invention of 
sciences, I purpose, if God give me leave, hereafter to 
propound, having digested it into two parts; whereof the 
one I term experientia literata , and the other interpretatio 
naturce : the former being but a degree and rudiment of the 
latter. But I will not dwell too long, nor speak too great 
upon a promise . 1 

The invention of speech or argument is not properly an 
invention, for to invent is to discover that we know not, and 
not to recover or resummon that which we already know: 
and the use of this invention is no other but out of the 
knowledge whereof our mind is already possessed to draw 
forth or call before us that which may be pertinent to the 
purpose which we take into our consideration. So as to speak 
truly, it is no invention, but a remembrance or suggestion, 
with an application; which is the cause why the schools do 
place it after judgment, as subsequent and not precedent. 
Nevertheless, because we do account it a chase as well of 
deer in an inclosed park as in a forest at large, and that it 
hath already obtained the name, let it be called invention : 
so as it be perceived and discerned, that the scope and end 
of this invention is readiness and present use of our know- 
ledge, and not addition or amplification thereof. 

To procure this ready use of knowledge there are two 
courses. Preparation and Suggestion. The former of these 
seemeth scarcely a part of knowledge, consisting rather of 

1 In the Latin, Bacon explains his experientia literata, which treats 
of methods of experiment; Venatio Fanis he also styles it. Cf. 
Nov. Org. i. 101. The Interpretatio Natures is the subject-matter 
of the Nov . Org. 



diligence than of any artificial erudition. And herein 
Aristotle wittily, but hurtfully, doth deride the Sophists 
near his time, saying, They did as if one that professed the art 
of shoe-making should not teach how to make a shoe , but only 
exhibit in a readiness a number of shoes of all fashions and 
sizes . 1 But yet a man might reply, that if a shoemaker 
should have no shoes in his shop, but only work as he is 
bespoken, he should be weakly customed. » But our Saviour 
speaking of divine knowledge, saith, that the kingdom of 
heaven is like a good householder , that bringeth forth both new 
and old store : 2 and we see the ancient writers of Rhetoric 
do give it in precept, “ that pleaders should have the Places, 
whereof they have most continual use, ready handled in 
all the variety that may be; ” as that, " to speak for the 
literal interpretation of the law against equity, and con- 
traiy; and to speak "for presumptions and inferences 
against testimony, and contrary .” 3 And Cicero himself, 
being broken unto it by great experience, delivereth it 
plainly, that whatsoever a man shall have occasion to 
speak of, if he will take the pains, he may have it in effect 
premeditate, and handled, in thesi ; 4 so that when he 
cometh to a particular he shall have nothing to do, but to 
put to names and times and places, and such other circum- 
stances of individuals. We see likewise the exact diligence 
of Demosthenes; who, in regard of the great force that the 
entrance and access into causes hath to make a good impres- 
sion, had ready framed a number of prefaces for orations 
and speeches. All which authorities and precedents may 
overweigh Aristotle's opinion, that would have us change a 
rich wardrobe for a pair of shears. 

But the nature of the collection of this provision or 
preparatory store, though it be common both to Logic and 
Rhetoric, yet having made an entry to it here, where it 
came first to be spoken of, I think fit to refer over the 
further handling of it to Rhetoric. 

The other part of invention, which I term suggestion, 
doth assign and direct us to certain marks , or places , which 
may excite our mind to return and produce such knowledge 

\ f ristot - Soph. El. 34. 2 Matt. xiii. 52. 

In the edition 1605 these passages are printed in black letter, as 
quotations.. ; 

4 Cic. Or at. 14 (46). 

Advancement of Learning 1 29 

as it hath foraierly collected, to the end we may make use 
thereof. Neither is this use, truly taken, only to furnish 
argument to dispute probably with others, but likewise to 
minister unto our judgment to conclude aright within our- 
selves. Neither may these Places serve only to apprompt 
our invention, but also to direct our inquiry. - For a faculty 
of wise interrogating is half a knowledge. For as Plato 
saith, Whosoever seeketh , knoweth that which he seeketh for in 
a general notion : else how shall he know it when he hath 
found it ? 1 and therefore the larger your anticipation is, 
the more direct and compendious is your search. But the 
same Places which will help us what to produce of that which 
we know already, will also help us, if a man of experience 
were before us, what questions to ask; or, if we have books 
and authors to instruct us, what points to search and 
revolve; so as I cannot report that this part of invention, 
which is that which the schools call Topics , is deficient . 2 

Nevertheless, T opics are of two sorts, general and special . 3 
The general we have spoken to; but the particular hath 
been touched by some, but rejected generally as inartificial 
and variable. But leaving the humour which hath reigned 
too much in the schools, which is, to be vainly subtle in a 
few things which are within their command, and to reject 
the rest; I do receive particular Topics, (that is, places or 
directions of invention and inquiry in every particular 
knowledge,) as things of great use, being mixtures of Logic 
with the matter of sciences; for in these it holdeth, ars in - 
veniendi adolescit cum inventis ; 4 for as in going of a way, 
we do not only gain that part of the way which is passed, 
but we gain the better sight of that part of the way which 
remaineth: so every degree of proceeding in a science 
giveth a light to that which folio weth; which light if we 
strengthen by drawing it forth into questions or places of 
inquiry, we do greatly advance our pursuit . 5 

Now we pass unto the arts of Judgment, which handle 
the natures of Proofs and Demonstrations; which as to 
Induction hath a coincidence with Invention. For in all 

1 Plato, Menon. So. 

a This passage is better arranged in the Latin. The paragraphs 
on Topics look as if they had been inserted as an afterthought. 

* Cf. Aristot. Rhet. n. xxii. 1 6, 17. 

4 Cf. Nov. Org. i. 1 30. 

* In the Latin an inquiry de gravi et levi is here added as a Topic. 


I 3° 

inductions, whether in good or vicious form, the same 
action of the mind which inventeth, judgeth; all one as in 
the sense. But otherwise it is in proof by syllogism; for 
the proof being not immediate, but by mean, the invention 
of the mean is one thing, and the judgment of the conse- 
quence is another; the one exciting only, the other examin- 
ing. Therefore for the real and exact form of judgment, 
we refer ourselves to that which we have spoken of inter- 
pretation of nature} 

For the other judgment by Syllogism, as it is a thing 
most agreeable to the mind of man, so it hath been vehe- 
mently and excellently laboured; for the nature of man 
doth extremely covet to have somewhat in his understand- 
ing fixed and immovable, and as a rest and support of the 
mind. And therefore as Aristotle endeavoureth to prove, 
that in all motion there is some point quiescent; 2 and as 
he elegantly expoundeth the ancient fable of Atlas, that 
stood fixed, and bare up the heaven from falling, to be 
meant of the poles or axle-tree of heaven, whereupon the 
conversion is accomplished; so assuredly men have a desire 
to have an Atlas or axle-tree within to keep them from 
fluctuation, which is like to a perpetual peril of falling; 
therefore men did hasten to set down some principles about 
which the variety of their disputations might turn. 

So then this art of Judgment is but the reduction of pro- 
positions to principles in a middle term; the principles to 
be agreed by all and exempted from argument; the middle 
term to be elected at the liberty of every man's invention; 
the reduction to be of two kinds, direct and inverted; the 
one when the proposition is reduced to the principle, which 
they term a probation ostensive ; the other, when the con- 
tradictory of the proposition is reduced to the contradictory 
of the principle, which is that which they call per incommo - 
dum , or pressing an absurdity ; the number of middle terms 
to be as the proposition standeth degrees more or less re- 
moved from the principle . 3 

But this art hath two several methods of doctrine, the 
one by way of direction, the other by way of caution: the 
former frameth and setteth down a true form of conse- 

1 In the Latin, legitimam (Inductionis formam) ad Novum 
Organum remittimus. 

* Aristot. De Motu A mm. 3. * Cf. Sanderson, Logic , iii. 5. 

Advancement of Learning 1 3 1 

quence, by the variations and deflections from which errors 
and inconsequences may be exactly judged. Toward the 
composition and structure of which form, it is incident to 
handle the parts thereof, which are propositions, and the 
parts of propositions, which are simple words: and this is 
that part of Logic which is comprehended in the Analytics. 

The second method of doctrine was introduced for ex- 
pedite use and assurance sake; discovering the more subtle 
forms of sophisms and illaqueations with their redargutions, 
which is that which is termed elenches. For although in 
the more gross sorts of fallacies it happeneth, as Seneca 
maketh the comparison well, as in juggling feats, which, 
though we know not how they are done, yet we know well 
it is not as it seemeth to be ; 1 yet the more subtle sort of 
them doth not only put a man beside his answer, but doth 
many times abuse his judgment. 

This part concerning elenches is excellently handled by 
Aristotle in precept, but more excellently . by Plato in 
example, not only in the persons of the Sophists, but even 
in Socrates himself; who, professing to affirm nothing, but 
to infirm that which was affirmed by another, hath exactly 
expressed all the forms of objection, fallacy, and regardu- 
tion . 2 And although we have said that the use of this 
doctrine is for redargution, yet it is manifest the degenerate 
and corrupt use is for caption and contradiction, which 
passeth for a great faculty, and no doubt is of very great 
advantage : though the difference be good which was made 
between orators and sophisters,' that the one is as the grey- 
hound which hath his advantage in the race, and the other 
as the hare which hath her advantage in the turn, so as it 
is the advantage of the weaker creature. 

But yet further, this doctrine of elenches hath a more 
ample latitude and extent than is perceived; namely, unto- 
divers parts of knowledge; whereof some are laboured and 
others omitted. For first, I conceive, though it may seem 
at first somewhat strange, that that part which is variably 
referred, sometimes to logic, sometimes to metaphysics,, 
touching the common adjuncts of essences, is but an elench ; 
for the great sophism of all sophisms being equivocation,. 

1 Sen. Epist. Mor. 45 . Sine noxa decipiunt, quomodo prasstigia- 
torum acetabula et calculi, in quibus fallacia ipsa delectat. 

a Cf. Plato’s account of Socrates in the opening of the Theisteius. 




* 3 2 

or ambiguity of words and phrase, (especially of such words 
as are most general, and intervene in every inquiry,) it 
seemeth to me that the true and fruitful use, leaving vain 
subtilties and speculations, of the inquiry of majority , 
minority , priority, posteriority , identity , diversity, possibility, 
act, totality, parts, existence, privation, and the like, are but 
wise cautions against the ambiguities of speech. So again 
the distribution of things into certain tribes, which we call 
categories or predicaments, are but cautions against the con- 
fusion of definitions and divisions . 1 

Secondly, there is a seducement that worketh by the 
strength of the impression, and not by the subtilty of the 
illaqueation; not so much perplexing the reason, as over- 
ruling it by power of the imagination. But this part I 
think more proper to handle when I shall speak of rhetoric. 

But lastly, there is yet a much more important and pro- 
found kind of fallacies in the mind of man, which I find not 
•observed or inquired at all , 2 and think good to place here, 
as that which of all others appertaineth most to rectify 
judgment : the force whereof is such, as it doth not dazzle 
•or snare the understanding in some particulars, but doth 
more generally and inwardly infect and corrupt the state 
thereof. For the mind of man is far from the nature of a 
clear and equal glass, wherein the beams of things should 
reflect according to their true incidence; nay, it is rather 
like an enchanted glass, full of superstition and imposture, 
if it be not delivered and reduced. For this purpose, let 
us consider the false appearances that are imposed upon 
us by the general nature of the mind , 3 beholding them in 
.an example or two; as first, in that instance which is the 
root of a superstition, namely, That to the nature of the 
mind of all men it is consonant for the affirmative or active 
to affect more than the negative or privative : so that a few 
times hitting or presence, countervails oft-times failing or 
absence; as was well answered by Diagoras to him that 
•showed him in Neptune's temple the great number of 
pictures of such as had escaped shipwreck, and had paid 
their vows to Neptune, saying, Advise now, you that think 

1 Arist. Categ. 

* This is the doctrine of " Idols,” expanded in the Latin, and still 
snore in the Nov. Org. i. 39-68. 

3 Idols ” of the Tribe, Nov. Org. i. 24-31. 

Advancement of Learning 133 

it folly to invocate Neptune in tempest: Yea, but, saith 
Diagoras, where are they painted that are drowned ? 1 Let us 
behold it in another instance, namely, That the spirit of man , 
being of an equal and uniform substance, doth usually suppose 
and feign in nature a greater equality and uniformity than is 
in truth. Hence it cometh, that the mathematicians 
cannot satisfy themselves except they reduce the motions 
of the celestial bodies to perfect circles, rejecting spiral 
lines, and labouring to be discharged of eccentrics . 1 2 * Hence 
it cometh, that whereas there are many things in nature as 
it were monodica , sui juris ; 3 yet the cogitations of man 
do feign unto them relatives, parallels, and conjugates, 
whereas no such thing is; as they have feigned an element 
of fire, to keep square with earth, water, and air, and the 
like: nay, it is not credible, till it be opened, what a 
number of fictions and fancies the similitude of human 
actions and arts, together with the making of man com- 
munis mensura, have brought into natural philosophy; not 
much better than the heresy of the Anthropomorphites , 4 
bred in the cells of gross and solitary monks, and the 
opinion of Epicurus, answerable to the same in heathenism, 
who supposed the Gods to be of human shape. And there- 
fore Velleius the Epicurean needed not to have asked why 
God should have adorned the heavens with stars, as if he 
had been an cedilis, one that should have set forth some 
magnificent shows or plays . 5 6 For if that great Work- 
master had been of a human disposition, he would have 
cast the stars into some pleasant and beautiful works and 
orders, like the frets in the roofs of houses; whereas one 
can scarce find a posture in square, or triangle, or straight 
line, amongst such an infinite number; so differing a 
harmony there is between the spirit of man and the spirit 
of nature. 

1 Cic. De Nat. Deor. iii. 37. 

a Bacon’s warning here is good, though his illustration was soon 
signally confuted by the promulgation of Kepler's laws. See Nov. 
Org. i. 45. 

8 He seems to think the derivation of this term is /* 6 vos and dim ;. 

4 Anthropomorphites, a sect which flourished in the fourth and 
tenth centuries ; their distinctive doctrine was that as God is said 

to have made man in his own Image, therefore the Deity is clothed 
in human shape. See Mosheim, Eccl. Hist. Cent. x. pt. ii. ch. 5. 

6 Cic. De Nat. Deor. i. 9. 


134 Bacon 

Let us consider again the false appearances imposed 
upon us by every man's own individual nature and custom , 1 
in that feigned supposition that Plato 2 maketh of the 
cave: for certainly if a child were continued in a grot or 
cave under the earth until maturity of age, and came 
suddenly abroad, he would have strange and absurd 
imaginations. So in like manner, although our persons live 
in the view of heaven, yet our spirits are included in the 
caves of our own complexions and customs# which minister 
unto us infinite errors and vain opinions, if they be not 
recalled to examination. But hereof we have given many 
examples in one of the errors, or peccant humours, which 
we ran briefly over in our first book. 

And lastly, let us consider the false appearances that are 
imposed upon us by words, which are framed and applied 
according to the conceit and capacities of the vulgar sort : 
and although we think we govern our words, and prescribe 
it well, loquendum ut vulgus, sentiendum ut sapientes ; yet 
certain it is that words, as a Tartar's bow, do shoot back 
upon the understanding of the wisest, and mightily en- 
tangle and pervert the judgment. So as it is almost neces- 
sary in all controversies and disputations to imitate the 
wisdom of the mathematicians, in setting down in the very 
beginning the definitions of our words and terms that 
others may know how we accept and understand them, 
and whether they concur with us or no. For it cometh to 
pass for want of this that we are sure to end there where 
we ought to have begun, which is, in questions and differ- 
ences about words. To conclude therefore, it must be 
confessed that it is not possible to divorce ourselves from 
these fallacies and false appearances, because they are in- 
separable from our nature and condition of life; so yet 
nevertheless the caution of them, (for all elenches, as was 
said, are but cautions,) doth extremely import the true 
conduct of human judgment. The particular elenches or 
cautions against these three false appearances, I find 
altogether deficient. 

There remaineth one part of judgment of great excellency, 
which to mine understanding is so slightly touched, as I 
may report that also deficient ; which is the application of 

1 “ Idols ” of the Cave, Nov. Org. i. 31-35. 

* Plato, De Rep . lib. vii. init. 

Advancement of Learning 135 

the differing kinds of proofs to the differing kinds of sub- 
jects; for there being but four kinds of demonstrations, 
that is, by the immediate consent of the mind or sense , by in- 
duction, by syllogism, and by congruity (which is that 
which Aristotle calleth demonstration in orb or circle , 1 and 
not a notioribus ;) every of these hath certain subjects in 
the matter of sciences, in which respectively they have 
chiefest use; and certain others, from which respectively 
they ought to be excluded; and the rigour and curiosity 
in requiring the more severe proofs in some things, and 
chiefly the facility in contenting ourselves with the more 
remiss proofs in others, hath been amongst the greatest 
causes of detriment and hinderance to knowledge. The 
distributions and assignations of demonstrations, accord- 
ing to the analogy of sciences, I note as deficient. 

The custody or retaining of knowledge is either in writing 
or memory; whereof writing hath two parts, the nature of 
the character, and the order of the entry; for the art of 
characters, or other visible notes of words or things, it 
hath nearest conjugation with grammar; and therefore I 
refer it to the due place : for the disposition and collocation 
of that knowledge which we preserve in writing, it con- 
sisteth in a good digest of common-places ; wherein I am not 
ignorant of the prejudice imputed to the use of common- 
place books, as causing a retardation of reading, and some 
sloth or relaxation of memory. But because it is but a 
counterfeit thing in knowledges to be forward and pregnant, 
except a man be deep and full, I hold the entry of common- 
places to be a matter of great use and essence in studying, as 
that which assureth copie of invention, and contracteth 
judgment to a strength. But this is true, that of the 
methods of common-places that I have seen, there is none 
of any sufficient worth; all of them carrying merely the face 
of a school, and not of a world; and referring to vulgar 
matters and pedantical divisions, without all life or respect 
to action. 

For the other principal part of the custody of knowledge, 
which is Memory, I find that faculty in my judgment weakly 
inquired of. An art 2 there is extant of it ; but it seemeth 

1 Aristot. Analyt . Pr. ii. 5, 1. 

2 Cf. Aristot. De Mem. See the article in the Encycl . Bntannica, 
“ On Mnemonics/’ Cf. Cicero, De Rhet . iii. and De Orat. ii. 

136 Bacon 

to me that there are better precepts than that art, and 
better practices of that art than those received. It is 
certain the art, as it is, may be raised to points of ostenta- 
tion prodigious: but in use, as it is now managed, it is 
barren, (not burdensome, nor dangerous to natural memory, 
as is imagined, but barren,) that is, not dexterous to be 
applied to the serious use of business and occasions. And 
therefore I make no more estimation of repeating a great 
number of names or words upon once hearing, or the pour- 
ing forth of a number of verses or rhymes, ex tempore , or the 
making of a satirical simile of everything, or the turning of 
everything to a jest, or the falsifying or contradicting of 
everything by cavil, or the like, (whereof in the faculties of 
the mind there is great copie, and such as by device and 
practice may be exalted to an extreme degree of wonder,) 
than I do of the tricks of tumblers, funambuloes, baladines : 1 
the one being the same in the mind that the other is in the 
body, matters of strangeness without worthiness. 

This art of memory is but built upon two intentions; the 
one prenotion, the other emblem. Prenotion dischargeth 
the indefinite seeking of that we would remember, and 
directeth us to seek in a narrow compass, that is, somewhat 
that hath congruity with our place of memory. Emblem 
reduceth conceits intellectual to images sensible, which 
strike the memory more; out of which axioms may be 
drawn much better practice than that in use; and besides 
which axioms, there are divers moe touching help of 
memory, not inferior to them. But I did in the beginning 
distinguish, not to report those things deficient, which are 
but only ill managed. 

There remaineth the fourth kind of rational knowledge, 
which is transitive, concerning the expressing or transferring 
our knowledge to others; which I will term by the general 
name of tradition or delivery. Tradition hath three parts; 
the first concerning the organ of tradition: the second 
concerning the method of tradition; and the third con- 
cerning the illustration of tradition. 

For the organ of tradition, it is either speech or writing: 
for Aristotle saith well, Words are the images of cogitations , 
and letters are the images of words ; 2 but yet it is not of 

1 Ballenno is Italian for a dancer. 

2 Aristot. De Interpret, i. 2. 

Advancement of Learning 137 

necessity that cogitations be expressed by the medium of 
words. For whatsoever is capable of sufficient differences , 
and those perceptible by the sense , is in nature competent to 
express cogitations . And therefore we see in the commerce 
of barbarous people, that understand not one another's 
language, and in the practice of divers that are dumb and 
deaf, that men's minds are expressed in gestures, though 
not exactly, yet to serve the turn. And we understand 
further, that it is the use of China, and the kingdoms of the 
high Levant , 1 to write in characters real, which express 
neither letters nor words in gross, but things or notions ; 
insomuch as countries and provinces, which understand 
not one another's language, can nevertheless read one 
another’s writings, because the characters are accepted 
more generally than the languages do extend; and there- 
fore they have a vast multitude of characters, as many, I 
suppose, as radical words. 

These notes of cogitations are of two sorts ; the one when 
the note hath some similitude or congruity with the notion : 
the other ad placitum, having force only by contract or 
acceptation. Of the former sort are hieroglyphics and 
gestures. For as to hieroglyphics, things of ancient use, 
and embraced chiefly by the Egyptians, one of the most 
ancient nations, they are but as continued impresses and 
emblems. And as for gestures, they are as transitory 
hieroglyphics, and are to hieroglyphics as words spoken are 
written, in that they abide not ; but they have evermore, 
as well as the other, an affinity with the things signified: 
as Periander, being consulted with how to preserve a 
tyranny newly usurped, bid the messenger attend and 
report what he saw him do; and went into his garden and 
topped all the highest flowers: signifying, that it consisted 
in the cutting off and keeping low of the nobility and 
grandees . 2 Ad placitum , are the characters real before 

1 " In China et provinciis ultimi Orientis ” {De Augm.). See a 
very interesting note on these paragraphs in Ellis and Spedding’s 
edition of the De Augm. vi. i. 

a Aristot. Polit. iii. 13, and Herod, v. 92. Cf. also Livy, i. 54, 
where the story is transferred to Tarquinius Superbus. Grandees, 
in edition 1605, grandes ; the word being not yet naturalised in the 
English language. According to Richardson, Burton (the Anatomy 
was published in 1624) spells it grandy. In my copy of the first 
edition I have not met with the word. 

ig8 Bacon 

mentioned, and words: although some have been willing 
by curious inquiry, or rather by apt feigning to have derived 
imposition of names from reason and intendment; a 
speculation elegant, and, by reason it searcheth into 
antiquity, reverent; but sparingly mixed with truth, and 
of small fruit. This portion of knowledge, touching the 
notes of things and cogitations in general, I find not in- 
quired but deficient. And although it may seem of no 
great use, considering that words and writings by letter 
do far excel all the other ways; yet because this part 
concemeth, as it were, the mint of knowledge, (for words 
are the tokens current and accepted for conceits, as moneys 
are for values, and that it is fit men be not ignorant that 
moneys may be of another kind than gold and silver,) I 
thought good to propound it to better inquiry. 

Concerning speech and words, the consideration of them 
hath produced the science of grammar; for man still 
striveth to reintegrate himself in those benedictions, from 
which by his fault he hath been deprived; and as he hath 
striven against the first general curse by the invention of all 
other arts, so hath he sought to come forth of the second 
general curse, which was the confusion of tongues, by the 
art of grammar; whereof the use in a mother tongue 1 is 
small, in a foreign tongue more; but most in such foreign 
tongues as have ceased to be vulgar tongues, and are 
turned only to learned tongues. The duty of it is of two 
natures; the one popular, which is for the speedy and 
perfect attaining languages as well for intercourse of 
speech as for understanding of authors; the other philo- 
sophical, examining the power and nature of words, as 
they are the footsteps and prints of reason: which kind of 
analogy between words and reason is handled sparsim , 
brokenly, though not entirely; and therefore I cannot 
report it deficient, though I think it very worthy to be 
reduced into a science by itself. 

Unto grammar also belongeth, as an appendix, the con- 
sideration of the accidents of words; which are measure, 
sound, and elevation or accent, and the sweetness and 
harshness of them; whence hath issued some curious 

1 The Latin is “ linguis qnibusque vernaculis.” Edition 1605 has 
in another tongue , which is clearly a misprint — the antithesis lying 
between a " vernacular ” or mother tongue, and a foreign language. 

Advancement of Learning 139 

observations in rhetoric, but chiefly poesy, as we consider 
it in respect of the verse and not of the argument; wherein 
though men in learned tongues do tie themselves to the 
ancient measures, yet in modem languages it seemeth to 
me as free to make new measures of verses as of dances: 
for a dance is a measured pace, as a verse is a measured 
speech. In these things the sense is better judge than the 

Coenae fercula nostrse 
Mallem convivis quam placuisse cocis. 1 

And of the servile expressing antiquity in an unlike and an 
unfit subject, it is well said, Quod tempore antiquum videiur , 
id incongruitate est maxime novum . 2 

For ciphers, they are commonly in letters or alphabets 
but may be in words. The kinds of ciphers, besides the 
simple ciphers, with changes, and intermixtures of nulls 
and non-significants, are many, according to the nature or 
rule of the infolding, wheel-ciphers, key-ciphers, doubles, 
etc . 3 But the virtues of them, whereby they are to be 
preferred, are three; that they be not laborious to write 
and read; that they be impossible to decipher; and, in 
some cases, that they be without suspicion. The highest 
degree whereof is to write omnia per omnia; which is 
undoubtedly possible, with a proportion quintuple at most 
of the writing infolding to the writing infolded, and no 
other restraint whatsoever. This art of ciphering hath 
for relative an art of deciphering, by supposition unprofit- 
able, but, as things are, of great use. For suppose that 
ciphers were well managed, there be multitudes of them 
which exclude the decipherer. But in regard of the rawness 
and unskilfulness of the hands through which they pass, 
the greatest matters are many times carried in the weakest 

1 Martial. Epig. ix. 82. 

2 This quotation, which is omitted in the Latin, is only another 
form and application of Bacon’s favourite " Antiquitas fasculi, 
juventus mundi.” 

8 In the Latin a specimen of a cipher (invented by himself when 
a young man at Paris) is introduced, to show how the art of writing 
omnia per omnia can be attained to. See also Encycl. Brit. verb. 
Cipher. Trithemius, Bapt. Porta, and others, wrote treatises on this 
art ; and it is worth remembering that the Stuarts made considerable 
political use of it. 

140 Bacon 

In the enumeration of these private and retired arts, it 
may be thought I seek to make a great muster-roll of 
sciences, naming them for show and ostentation, and to 
little other purpose. But let those which are skilful in 
them judge whether I bring them in only for appearance, 
or whether in that which I speak of them, though in few 
marks, there be not some seed of proficience. And this 
must be remembered, that as there be many of great 
account in their countries and provinces, which, when they 
come up to the seat of the estate, are but of mean rank 
and scarcely regarded; so these arts, being here placed with 
the principal and supreme sciences, seem petty things; yet 
to such as have chosen them to spend their labours and 
studies in them, they seem great matters. 

For the Method of Tradition, I see it hath moved a 
controversy in our time . 1 But as in civil business, if there 
be a meeting, and men fall at words, there is commonly an 
end of the matter for that time, and no proceeding at all; 
so in learning, where there is much controversy* there is 
many times little inquiry. For this part of knowledge 
of Method seemeth to me so weakly inquired as I shall 
report it deficient. 

Method hath been placed, and that not amiss, in Logic, 
as a part of Judgment ; 2 for as the doctrine of Syllogisms 
comprehendeth the rules of Judgment upon that which 
is invented, so the doctrine of Method containeth the rules 
of Judgment upon that which is to be delivered; for 
Judgment precedeth Delivery, as it followeth Invention. 
Neither is the Method or the nature of the tradition material 
only to the use of knowledge, but likewise to the progression 
of knowledge: for since the labour and life of one man 
cannot attain to perfection of knowledge, the wisdom of the 
tradition is that which inspireth the felicity of continuance 
and proceeding. And therefore the most real diversity 
of method, is of Method referred to use, and Method 
referred to progression: whereof the one may be termed 
Magistral, and the other of Probation. 

1 Between Ramus, whose method was one of perpetual dicho- 
tomies, and others. 

a Not so in the usual text-books — Sanderson, iii. 30, 31, and 
Aldrich, ch. vi., place it under Discourse; and it is defined as 
“ Ratio ita disponendi partes alicujus disciplinae vel tractationis, ut 
facillime a nobis integra discatur.” 

Advancement of Learning 14 1 

The latter whereof seemeth to be via deserta et interclusa . 
For as knowledges are now delivered, there is a kind of 
contract of error between the deliverer and the receiver: 
for he that delivereth knowledge, desireth to deliver it 
in such form as may be best believed, and not as may be 
best examined; and he that receiveth knowledge, desireth 
rather present satisfaction, than expectant inquiry; and so 
rather not to doubt, than not to err: glory making the 
author not to lay open his weakness, and sloth making 
the disciple not to know his strength. 

But knowledge that is delivered as a thread to be spun 
on, ought to be delivered and intimated, if it were possible, 
in the same method wherein it was invented: and so is it 
possible of knowledge induced. But in this same antici- 
pated and prevented knowledge, no man knoweth how 
he came to the knowledge which he hath obtained. But 
yet nevertheless, secundum majus et minus , a man may 
revisit and descend unto the foundations of his knowledge 
and consent ; and so transplant it into another, as it grew 
in his own mind. For it is in knowledges as it is n plants: 
if you mean to use the plant, it is no matter for the roots; 
but it you mean to remove it to grow, then it is more assured 
to rest upon roots than slips: so the delivery of know- 
ledges, as it is now used, is as of fair bodies of trees without 
the roots; good for the carpenter, but not for the planter. 
But if you will have sciences grow, it is less matter for the 
shaft or body of the tree, so you look well to the taking up 
of the roots: of which kind of delivery the method of the 
mathematics, in that subject, hath some shadow: but 
generally I see it neither put in use 1 nor put in inquisition : 
and therefore note it for deficient. 

Another diversity of Method there is, which hath some 
affinity with the former, used in some cases by the discretion 
of the ancients, but disgraced since by the impostures of 
many vain persons, who have made it as a false light for 
their counterfeit merchandises; and that is, enigmatical 
and disclosed . 2 The pretence whereof is, to remove the 

1 1 have read use for ure. For the Latin is usus, and the word me 
is a rare one. Richardson's examples are all from Chaucer. The 
meaning of both words is the same. 

2 Corresponds to the scholastic " Methodus d/cpoa/xart/ciy et 
4£<aT€pLKt) t ” Aldrich, Logic , vi. Bacon uses these terms in the Latin. 



vulgar capacities from being admitted to the secrets of 
knowledges, and to reserve them to selected auditors, or 
wits of such sharpness as can pierce the veil. 

Another diversity of Method, whereof the consequence is 
great, is the delivery of knowledge in Aphorisms, or in 
Methods; wherein we may observe that it hath been too 
much taken into custom, out of a few axioms or observa- 
tions upon any subject, to make a solemn and formal art, 
filling it with some discourses, and illustrating it with 
examples, and digesting it into a sensible Method. 

But the writing in aphorisms hath many excellent 
virtues, whereto the writing in Method doth not approach. 
For first, it trieth the writer, whether he be superficial or 
solid: for Aphorisms, except they should be rediculous, 
cannot be made but of the pith and heart of sciences ; for 
discourse of illustration is cut off: recitals of examples 
are cut off; discourse of connection and order is cut off; 
descriptions of practice are cut off. So there remaineth 
nothing to fill the Aphorisms but some good quantity of 
observation: and therefore no man can suffice, nor in 
reason will attempt to write Aphorisms, but he that is 
sound and grounded. But in Methods, 

Tantum series juncturaque pollet, 

Tantum de medio sumptis accedit honoris; 1 

as a man shall make a great shew of an art, which, if it 
were disjointed, would come to little. Secondly, methods 
are more fit to win consent or belief, but less fit to point to 
action; for they carry a kind of demonstration in orb or 
circle, one part illuminating another, and therefore satisfy; 
but particulars, being dispersed, do best agree with dis- 
persed directions. And lastly, Aphorisms, representing a 
knowledge broken, do invite men to inquire farther ; whereas 
Methods, carrying the show of a total, do secure men, as if 
they were at farthest. 

Another diversity of Method, which is likewise of great 
weight, is the handling of knowledge by assertions and 
their proofs, or by questions and their determinations; 
the latter kind whereof, if it be immoderately followed, is 
as prejudicial to the proceeding of learning, as it is to the 
proceeding of an army to go about to besiege every little 
1 Hor. Ep. ad Pis. 242. 

Advancement of Learning 143 

fort or hold. For if the field be kept, and the sum of the 
enterprise pursued, those smaller things will come in of 
themselves: indeed a man would not leave some important 
piece enemy at his back . 1 In like manner, the use of con- 
futation in the delivery of sciences ought to be very sparing ; 
and to serve to remove strong preoccupations and prejudg- 
ments, and not to minister and excite disputations and 

Another diversity of Method is, according to the subject 
or matter which is handled; for there is a great difference 
in delivery of the mathematics, which are most abstracted 
of knowledges, and policy, which is the most immersed: 
and howsoever contention hath been moved touching a 
uniformity of method in multiformity of matter, yet we 
see how that opinion, besides the weakness of it, hath been 
of ill desert towards learning, as that which taketh the way 
to reduce learning to certain empty and barren generali- 
ties ; being but the very husks and shells of sciences, all the 
kernel being forced out and expulsed with the torture and jj 

press of the Method. And therefore as I did allow well of 
particular topics for invention, so I do allow likewise of 
particular Methods of tradition. jj 

Another diversity of judgment 2 in the delivery and 
teaching of knowledge is according unto the light and 
presuppositions of that which is delivered; for that know- 
ledge which is new, and foreign from opinions received, 
is to be delivered in another form than that that is agreeable 3 
and familiar; and therefore Aristotle, when he thinks to 
tax Democritus, doth in truth commend him, where he 
saith, If we shall indeed dispute , and not follow after simili- 
tudes , etc . 4 For those whose conceits are seated in popluar 
opinions, need only but to prove or dispute; but those 
whose conceits are beyond popular opinions, have a double 
labour; the one to make themselves conceived, and the 
other to prove and demonstrate: so that it is of necessity 

1 This passage is equivalent to " although indeed a man would 
not leave some fortified place hostile to him in his rear/’ ; I 

a Bacon meant here to say " diversity of Method to be used with 
judgment,” etc. ; for the Latin is “ Sequitur aliud Methodi discrimen 
in tradendis scientiis cum judicio adhibendum.” ; 1 

3 Agreeable. “ Opinionibus jampridem imbibitis et receptis | 

affinis.” I 

4 Arist. Eth . Nic. vi 3, see note in Ellis and Spedding's edition 



with them to have recourse to similitudes and translations 
to express themselves. And therefore in the infancy of 
learning, and in rude times, when those conceits which are 
now trivial were then new, the world was full of parables 
and similitudes ; for else would men either have passed over 
without mark, or else rejected for paradoxes, that which 
was offered, before they had understood or judged. So 
in divine learning, we see how frequent parables and tropes 
are : for it is a rule, that whatsoever science is not consonant 
to presuppositions, must pray in aid of similitudes. 

There be also other diversities of Methods vulgar and 
received : as that of Resolution or Analysis, of Constitution 
or Systasis, of Concealment of Cryptic, etc., which I do allow 
well of, though I have stood upon those which are least 
handled and observed. All which I have remembered to 
this purpose, because I would erect and constitute one 
general inquiry, which seems to me deficient, touching the 
Wisdom of Tradition. 

But unto this part of knowledge concerning Methods 
doth farther belong not only the architecture of the whole 
frame of a work, but also the several beams and columns 
thereof ; not as to their stuff, but as to their quantity and 
figure. And therefore Method considereth not only the 
disposition of the argument or subject, but likewise the 
propositions: not as to their truth or matter, but as to 
their limitation and manner. For herein Ramus merited 
better a great deal in reviving the good rules of propositions, 
¥Lad6\ov 7r/>a>Tov Kara iravros, etc., than he did in intro- 
ducing the canker of epitomes; 1 and yet (as it is the con- 
dition of human things that, according to the ancient 
fables, the most precious things have the most pernicious 
keepers ;) it was so, that the attempt of the one made him 
fall upon the other. For he had need be well conducted 
that should design to make axioms convertible, if he make 
them not withal circular, and non-promovent, or incurring 
into themselves; but yet the intention was excellent. 

The other considerations of method, concerning pro- 
positions, are chiefly touching the utmost propositions, 
which limit the dimensions of sciences; for every know- 
ledge may be fitly said, besides the profundity, (which is 

1 Should this not rather have been Dichotomies ? “ quam in unica 
sua Methodo et Dichotomiis obtrudendis.” 

Advancement of Learning 145 

the truth and substance of it, that makes it solid,) to have 
a longitude and a latitude; accounting the latitude towards 
other sciences, and the longitude towards action; that is, 
from the greatest generality to the most particular precept! 
The one giveth rule how far one knowledge ought to inter- 
meddle within the province of another, which is the rule they 
call Kadavrb ; 1 the other giveth rule unto what degree of 
particularity a knowledge should descend: which latter 
I find passed over in silence, being in my judgment the 
more material; for certainly there must be somewhat left 
to practice; but how much is worthy the inquiry. We see 
remote and superficial generalities do but offer knowledge 
to scorn of practical men; and are no more aiding to prac- 
tice than an Ortelius ’ 2 universal map is to direct the way 
between London and York. The better sort of rules have 
been not unfitly compared to glasses of steel unpolished, 
where you may see the images of things, but first they 
must be filed : so the rules will help, if they be laboured and 
polished by practice. But how crystalline they may be 
made at the first, and how far forth they may be polished 
aforehand, is the question; the inquiry whereof seemeth 
to me deficient. 

There hath been also laboured and put in practice a 
method, which, is not a lawful method, but a method of 
imposture; which is to deliver knowledges in such manner, 
as men may speedily come to make a show of learning 
who have it not: such was the travail of Raymundus 
Lullius, in making that art which bears his name : 3 not 
unlike to some books of typocosmy, which have been 
made since; being nothing but a mass of words of all arts, 
to give men countenance, that those which use the terms 
might be thought to understand the art; which collections 
are much like a fripper’s or broker's shop, that hath ends 
of everything, but nothing of worth. 

Now we descend to that part which concerneth the 

1 Viz. that Propositions should be true essentially. 

* Ortelius was an Antweiper, died 1 598, styled the “ Ptolemaeus 
sui saeculi.” 

• Raymundus Lully, “ the Enlightened Doctor ,” was born in 
Majorca in 1225, studied Arabian philosophy, chemistry, physic, 
and divinity. He was stoned to death at the age of eighty in Maure- 
tania, for preaching the gospel. For a brief account of his Method, 
see note to Ellis and Spedding’s De Augm. vi. 2 (p. 669). 

146 Bacon 

illustration of tradition, comprehended in that science 
which we call rhetoric, or art of eloquence ; a science excellent, 
and excellently well laboured. For though in true value 
it is inferior to wisdom, (as it is said by God to Moses, 
when he disabled himself for want of this faculty, Aaron 
shall be thy speaker , and thou shall be to him as God .*) 1 yet 
with people it is the more mighty: so Salomon saith, 
Sapiens corde appellabiiur prudens, sed dulcis eloquio 
major a reperiet ; 2 signifying, that profoundness of wisdom 
will help a man to a name or admiration, but that it is 
eloquence that prevaileth in an active life. And as to the 
labouring of it, the emulation of Aristotle with the rhetori- 
cians of his time, and the experience of Cicero hath made 
them in their works of rhetorics exceed themselves. Again, 
the excellency of examples of eloquence in the orations 
of Demosthenes and Cicero, added to the perfection of the 
precepts of eloquence, hath doubled the progression in this 
art; and therefore the deficiencies which I shall note will 
rather be in some collections, which may as hand-maids 
attend the art, than in the rules or use of the art itself. 

Notwithstanding, to stir the earth a little about the roots 
of this science, as we have done of the rest; the duty and 
office of rhetoric is, to apply reason to imagination for the 
better moving of the will. For we see reason is disturbed 
in the administration thereof by three means; by illaquea- 
tion or sophism, which pertains to logic; by imagination 
or impression, which pertains to rhetoric ; and by passion 
or affection , which pertains to morality. And as in negotia- 
tion with others, men are wrought by cunning, by impor- 
tunity, and by vehemency; so in this negotiation within 
ourselves, men are undermined by inconsequences, solicited 
and importuned by impressions or observations, and 
transported by passions. Neither is the nature of man so 
unfortunately built, as that those powers and arts should 
have force to disturb reason, and not to establish and 
advance it. For the end of logic is, to teach a form of 
argument to secure reason, and not to entrap it; the end 
of morality is to procure the affections to obey reason, 
and not to invade it; the end of rhetoric is, to fill the 
imagination to second reason, and not to oppress it: for 
these abuses of art come in but ex obliquo, for caution. 

1 Exod. iv. 16. 2 Prov. xvi. 21. 

| Advancement of Learning 1 4.7 

And therefore it was great injustice in Plato, though 
springing out of a just hatred to the rhetoricians of his 
time, to esteem of rhetoric but as a voluptuary art, resem- 
bling it to cookery, that did mar wholesome meats, and help 
unwholesome by variety of saucesto the pleasure of the taste? 
For we see that speech is much more conversant in adorning 
j that which is good, than in colouring that which is evil; 

! there is no man but speaketh more honestly than he 

i can do or think: and it was excellently noted by Thucy- 
j dides in Cleon, that because he used to hold on the bad side 
in causes of estate, therefore he was ever inveighing against 
eloquence and good speech ; 2 knowing that no man can 
speak fair of courses sordid and base. And therefore as 
Plato said elegantly, That virtue, if she could he seen, would 
move great love and affection ; 3 so seeing that she cannot be 
showed to the sense by corporal shape, the next degree is 
to show her to the imagination in lively representation: 
for to show her to reason only in subtilty of arg um ent, 
was a thing ever derided in Chrysippus and many of the 
Stoics; who thought to thrust virtue upon men by sharp 
disputations and conclusions, which have no sympathy 
| with the will of man. 

| Again, if the affections in themselves were pliant and 
obedient to reason, it were true there should be no great 
use of persuasions and insinuations to the will, more than 
j o f naked proposition and proofs; but in regard of the 
' continual mutinies and seditions of the affections, 

j Video meliora, proboque; 

j Deteriora sequor: 4 

| reason would become captive and servile, if eloquence of 
j persuasions did not practise and win the imagination from 
| the affections’ part, and contract a confederacy between 
j the reason and imagination against the affections; for the 
! affections themselves carry ever an appetite to good, as 
j reason doth. The difference is, that the affection beholdeth 
[ merely the present; reason beholdeth the future and sum 
| of time. And therefore the present filling the imagination 
j more, reason is commonly vanquished; but after that force 
| of eloquence and persuasion hath made things future and 

| 1 Plat. Gorg. 462, se q. 2 Thucyd. iii. 42. - 

j 3 Plat. Phasdr. 250. * Ovid. Metam, vii. 20. 



remote appear as present, then upon the revolt of the 
imagination reason prevaileth. 

We conclude, therefore, that rhetoric can be no more 
charged with the colouring of the worse part, than logic 
with sophistry , 1 or morality with vice. For we know the 
doctrines of contraries are the same, though the use be 
opposite. It appeareth also that logic differeth from 
rhetoric, not only as the fist from the palm, the one close, 
the other at large; but much more in this, that logic 
handleth reason exact and in truth, and rhetoric handleth 
it as it is planted in popular opinions and manners. And 
therefore Aristotle 2 doth wisely place rhetoric as between 
logic on the one side, and moral or civil knowledge on the 
other, as participating of both: for the proofs and demon- 
strations of logic are towards all men indifferent and the 
same; but the proofs and persuasions of rhetoric ought 
to differ according to the auditors : 

Orpheus in sylvis, inter delphinas Arion. 2 

Which application, in perfection of idea, ought to extend 
so far, that if a man should speak of the same thing to 
several persons, he should speak to them all respectively 
and several ways: though this politic part of eloquence in 
private speech it is easy for the greatest orators to want : 
whilst by the observing their well-graced forms of speech 
they leese the volubility of application: and therefore it 
shall not be amiss to recommend this to better inquiry, 
not being curious whether we place it here, or in that part 
which concemeth policy. 

Now therefore will I descend to the deficiencies, which, 
as I said, are but attendances : 4 and first, I do not find 
the wisdom and diligence of Aristotle well pursued, who 
began to make a collection of the popular signs and colours 
of good and evil, both simple and comparative, which are 
as the sophisms of rhetoric, as I touched before . 5 For 

\ Arist. Rhet. 1. i. 14. * Arist. Rhet. i. 2, 7. 

* Virg. Eel. viii. 56. 

4 Attendances, “ Pertinent omnia ad promptuarium.” 

5 These were published in 1597, at the end of the volume of 
Essays. They are reproduced in the corresponding place of the 
Latin. See Arist. Top . i. 12. 

Advancement of Learning 149 


\ Quod laudatur, bonum : quod vituperatur, malum. 

Redargutio . j| 

Laudat venales qui vult extrudere merces. 1 

Malum est, malum est, inquit emptor : sed cum recesserit, 

; turn gloriahitur ! 2 

The defects in the labour of Aristotle are three: one, 
j that there be but a few of many; another, that their 
| elenches are not annexed; and the third, that he conceived 
| but a part of the use of them: for their use is not only 

; in probation, but much more in impression. For many 

forms are equal in signification which are differing in 
impression; as. the difference is great in the piercing of that 
i which is sharp and that which is fiat, though the strength of 
the percussion be the same: for there is no man but will 
L be a little more raised by hearing it said, Your enemies 

■ will be glad of this : 

^ Hoc Ithacus velit, et magno mercentur Atridas; * 

than by hearing it said only, This is evil for you. 

Secondly, I do resume also that which I mentioned before, 
touching provision or preparatory store for the furniture 
of speech and readiness of invention; which appeareth 
to be of two sorts; the one in resemblance to a shop of 
pieces unmade up, the other to a shop of things ready made 

■ up; both to be applied to that which is frequent and most 
: in request: the former of these I will call antitheta, and the 

latter formulce. 

Antitheta are theses argued pro et contra ; wherein men 
may be more large and laborious: but, in such as are able 
to do it, to avoid prolixity of entry, I wish the seeds of the 
several arguments to be cast up into some brief and acute 
sentences, not to be cited, but to be as skeins or bottoms 
of thread, to be unwinded at large when they come to be 
used; supplying authorities and examples by reference. 

| Pro verbis legis . 

Non est interpretatio, sed divinatio, quae recedit a litera: 
l Cnm receditur a litera, judex transit in legislatorem. 

; Pro sententia legis. 

j Ex omnibus verbis est eliciendus sensus qui interpretatur singula. 

1 Hor. Ep. ii. 2, ii. * Prov. xx. 14. * Virg. Mn. ii. 104. 

t L 7*9 




Formula are but decent and apt passages or convey- 
ances of speech, which may serve indifferently for differing 
subjects; as of preface , conclusion , digression, transition, 
excusation , etc . For as in buildings, there is great pleasure 
and use in the well casting of the staircases, entries, doors, 
windows, and the like; so in speech, the conveyances and 
passages are of special ornament and effect. 

A conclusion in a deliberative. 

So may we redeem the faults passed, and prevent the incon- 
veniences future. 

There remain two appendices touching the tradition of 
knowledge, the one critical, the other pedantical. For all 
knowledge is either delivered by teachers, or attained by 
men's proper endeavours: and therefore as the principal 
part of tradition of knowledge concerneth chiefly writing 
of books, so the relative part thereof concerneth reading 
of books ; whereunto appertain incidently these considera- 
tions. The first is concerning the true correction and 
edition of authors; wherein nevertheless rash diligence 
hath done great prejudice. For these critics have often 
presumed, that that which they understand not is false set 
down: as the priest that, where he found it written of 
St. Paul, Demissus est per sportam 1 mended his book, and 
made it Demissus est per portam ; because sporta was a 
hard word, and out of his reading: and surely their errors, 
though they be not so palpable and ridiculous, are yet of 
the same kind. And therefore, as it hath been wisely noted, 
the most corrected copies are commonly the least correct. 

The second is concerning the exposition and explication 
of authors, which resteth in annotations and commen- 
taries : wherein it is over usual to blanch the obscure places, 
and discourse upon the plain. 

The third is concerning the times, which in many cases 
give great light to true interpretations. 

The fourth is concerning some brief censure and judg- 
ment of the authors; that men thereby may make some 
election unto themselves what books to read. 

And the fifth is concerning the syntax and disposition 
of studies; that men may know in what order or pursuit 
to read. ' 

Advancement of Learning 1 5 1 

j # For pedantical knowledge, it containeth that difference 
of tradition which is proper for youth; whereunto apper- 
tain divers considerations of great fruit. 

As first, the timing and seasoning of knowledges ; as with 
what to initiate them, and from what for a time to refrain 

Secondly, the consideration where to begin with the 
easiest, and so proceed to the more difficult ; and in what 
courses to press the more difficult, and then to turn them 
to the more easy : for it is one method to practise swimming 
with bladders, and another to practise dancing with heavy 

A third is the , application of learning according unto 
the propriety of the wits; for there is no defect in the facul- 
ties intellectual, but seemeth to have a proper cure con- 
tained in some studies; as, for example, if a child be 
bird- wit ted, that is, hath not the faculty of attention, 
the mathematics giveth a remedy thereunto ; for in them, 
if the wit be caught away but a moment, one is to begin 
anew. And as sciences have a propriety towards faculties 
for cure and help, so faculties or powers have a sympathy 
] towards sciences for excellency or speedy profiting: and 
1 therefore it is an inquiry of great wisdom, what kinds of 
wits and natures are most apt and proper for what sciences. 

Fourthly, the ordering of exercises is matter of great 
consequence to hurt or help: for, as is well observed by 
Cicero , 1 men in exercising their faculties, if they be not 
well advised, do exercise their faults and get ill habits as | 

well as good; so there is a great judgment to be had in,the 
continuance and intermission of exercises. It were too 
long to particularize a number of other considerations of 
this nature, things but of mean appearance, but of singular 
efficacy. For as the wronging or cherishing of seeds or 
young plants is that that is most important to their thriv- 
ing: (and as it was noted that the first six kings being in 
truth as tutors of the state of Rome in the infancy thereof, 
was the principal cause of the immense greatness of that 
state which followed:) so the culture and manurance of 
| minds in youth, hath such a forcible, though unseen opera- 
I tion, as hardly any length of time or contention of labour 

| can countervail it afterwards. And it is not amiss to 

I ■. ; 1 Cic. De Or. i. 33. : v; 


x 5* 

observe also how small and mean faculties gotten by educa- 
tion, yet when they fall into great men or great matters, 
do work great and important effects; whereof we see a 
notable example in Tacitus 1 of two stage players, Per- 
* cennius and Vibulenus, who by their faculty of playing put 
the Pannonian armies into an extreme tumult and combus- 
tion. For there arising a mutiny amongst them upon the 
death of Augustus Caesar, Blaesus the lieutenant had com- 
mitted some of the mutineers, which were suddenly rescued; 
whereupon Vibulenus got to be heard speak, which he did 
in this manner: — These poor innocent wretches appointed to 
cruel death , you have restored to behold the light ; but who 
shall restore my brother to me, or life unto my brother, that 
was sent hither in message from the legions of Germany, to 
treat of the common cause ? and he hath murdered him this 
last night by some of his fencers and ruffians, that he hath 
about him for his executioners upon soldiers. Answer, 
Blcesus, what is done with his body ? The mortalest enemies 
do not deny burial. When I have performed my last duty 
to the corpse with kisses, with tears, command me to be slain 
beside him ; so that these my fellows, for our good meaning, 
and our true hearts to the legions, may have leave to bury us. 
With which speech he put the army into an infinite fury 
and uproar: whereas truth was he had no brother, neither 
was there any such matter; but he played it merely as if 
he had been upon the stage. 

But to return: we are now come to a period of rational 
knowledges; wherein if I have made the divisions other 
than those that are received, yet would I not be thought 
to disallow all those divisions which I do not use. For 
there is a double necessity imposed upon me of altering the 
divisions. The one, because it differeth in end and pur- 
pose, to sort together those things which are next in nature, 
and those things which are next in use. For if a secretary 
of state should sort his papers, it is like in his study or 
general cabinet he would sort together things of a nature, 
as treaties, instructions, etc., but in his boxes or particular 
cabinet he would sort together those that he were like to 
use together, though of several natures; so in this general 
cabinet of knowledge it was necessary for me to follow the 
divisions of the nature of things ; whereas if myself had 
1 Tacit. Ann. i. 22, 23. 

Advancement of Learning 153 

been to handle any particular knowledge, I would have 
respected the divisions fittest for use. The other, because 
the bringing in of the deficiencies did by consequence alter 
the partitions of the rest. For let the knowledge extant, 
for demonstration sake, be fifteen ; let the knowledge with 
the deficiencies be twenty; the parts of fifteen are not the 
parts of twenty; for the parts of fifteen are three and five; 
the parts of twenty are two, four, five, and ten. So as 
these things are without contradiction, and could not 
otherwise be. 

We proceed now to that knowledge which considereth of 
the appetite and will of man: whereof Salomon saith, 

Ante omnia , fili , custodi cor tuum ; nam inde procedunt ; 

actiones vita A In the handling of this science, those which 
have written seem to me to have done as if a man, that 
professed to teach to write, did only exhibit fair copies of 
alphabets and letters joined, without giving any precepts | 

or directions for the carriage of the hand and framing of the 
letters. So have they made good and fair exemplars and 
copies, carrying the draughts and portraitures of good, 
virtue , duty , felicity ; propounding them well described 
as the true objects and scopes of man's will and desires. 

But how to attain these excellent marks, and how to frame 
and subdue the will of man to become true and conformable 
to these pursuits, they pass it over altogether, or slightly 
and unprofitably. For it is not the disputing that moral 
virtues are in the mind of man by habit and not by nature , 2 
or the distinguishing that generous spirits are won by 
doctrines and persuasions, and the vulgar sort by reward 
and punishment, and the like scattered glances and touches, 
that can excuse the absence of this part. 

The reason of this omission I suppose to be that hidden 
rock whereupon both this and many other barks of know- 
ledge have been cast away; which is, that men have 
despised to be conversant in ordinary and common matters, 
the judicious direction whereof nevertheless is the wisest 
doctrine, (for life consisteth not in novelties or subtilties,) 
but contrariwise they have compounded sciences chiefly 

1 Prov. iv. 23. * Arist. Eth. Nic. ii. r. Eud. Eth. i. 3, 1. 


*5 4 

of a certain resplendent or lustrous mass of matter, chosen 
to give glory either to the subtilty of disputations, or to the 
eloquence of discourses. But Seneca giveth an excellent 
check to eloquence; Nocet Mis eloquentia , quibus non return 
cupiditatem facit , sed sui } Doctrine should be such as should 
make men in love with the lesson, and not with the teacher; 
being directed to the auditor's benefit, and not to the 
author's commendation. And therefore - those are of the 
right kind which may be concluded as Demosthenes con- 
cludes his counsel, Qum si feceritis , non oratorem duntaxai 
in prcesentia laudabitis, sed vosmetipsos etiam non ita multo 
post statu return vestrarum meliore. 2 

Neither needed men of so excellent parts to have de- 
spaired of a fortune, which the poet Virgil promised himself, 
and indeed obtained, who got as much glory of eloquence, 
wit, and learning in the expressing of the observations of 
husbandry, as of the heroical acts of ^Eneas : — 

Nec sum animi debius, verbis ea vincere magnum 

Quam sit, et angustis his addere rebus honorem. 3 

And surely, if the purpose be in good earnest, not to write 
at leisure that which men may read at leisure, but really to 
instruct and suborn action and active life, these Georgies 
of the mind, concerning the husbandry and tillage thereof, 
are no less worthy than the heroical descriptions of virtue, 
duty, and felicity. Wherefore the main and primitive 
division of moral knowledge seemeth to be into the exemplar 
or platform of good, and the regiment or culture of the mind : 
the one describing the nature of good, the other prescribing 
rules how to subdue, apply, and accommodate the will of 
man thereunto. 

The doctrine touching the platform or nature of good con- 
sidereth it either simple or compared; either the kinds of 
good, or the degrees of good; in the latter whereof those 
infinite disputations, which were touching the supreme 
degree thereof, which they term felicity, beatitude, or the 
highest good, the doctrines concerning which were as the 
heathen divinity , 4 are by the Christian faith discharged. 

1 Sen. ad Lucilium, Ep. 52. 

* Demosth. Olynth. 13 . ad fin. 3 Geofg. ill. 289. 

4 Stood to the Heathen in the place of Divinity. “ Ouse 
ethnicis instar Theologiae erant.” 

Advancement of Learning 155 

And as Aristotle saith, That young men may be happy , but 
not otherwise but by hope ; 1 so we must all acknowledge our 
minority, and embrace the felicity which is by hope of the 
future world. 

Freed therefore and delivered from this doctrine of the 
philosopher’s heaven, whereby they feigned a higher eleva- 
tion of man’s nature than was, (for we see in what a height 
of style Seneca writeth, Vere magnum , habere fragilitatem 
hominis , securitatem Dei, 2 ) we may with more sobriety and 
truth receive the rest of their inquiries and labours. Where- 
in for the nature of good positive or simple, they have set 
it down excellently, in describing the forms of virtue and 
duty, with their situations and postures; in distributing 
them into their kinds, parts, provinces, actions, and 
administrations, and the like: nay farther, they have 
commended them to man’s nature and spirit, with great 
quickness of argument and beauty of persuasions; yea, 
and fortified and entrenched them, as much as discourse 
can do, against corrupt and popular opinions. Again, for 
the degrees and comparative nature of good, they have 
also excellently handled it in their triplicity of good, in the 
comparison between a contemplative and an active life , 3 
in the distinction between virtue with reluctation and 
virtue secured, in their encounters between honesty and 
profit, in their balancing of virtue with virtue, and the like; 
so as this part deserveth to be reported for excellently 

Notwithstanding, if before they had come to the popular 
and received notions of virtue and vice, pleasure and pain, 
and the rest, they had stayed a little longer upon the inquiry 
concerning the roots of good and evil, and the strings of 
those roots, they had given, in my opinion, a great light 
to that which followed ; and specially if they had consulted 
with nature, they had made their doctrines less prolix and 
more profound; which being by them in part omitted and 
in part handled with much confusion, we will endeavour to 
resume and open in a more clear manner. 

There is formed in every thing a double nature of good: 
the one, as every thing is a total or substantive in itself ; 
the other, as it is a part or member of a greater body; 

1 Rhet. ii. 12, 8. 

2 Sen. ad Lucilium , Ep. 53, 
* Arist. Eth. Nic. x. 6-8. 


* 5 6 

whereof the latter is in degree the greater and the worthier, 
because it tendeth to the conservation of a more general 
form. Therefore we see the iron in particular sympathy 
moveth to the lodestone; but yet if it exceed a certain 
quantity, it forsaketh the affection to the lodestone, and 
like a good patriot moveth to the earth, which is the region 
and country of massy bodies: so may we go forward, and 
see that water and massy bodies move to the centre of the 
earth; but rather than to suffer a divulsion in the continu- 
ance of nature, they will move upwards from the centre of 
the earth, forsaking their duty to the earth in regard to 
their duty to the world. This double nature of good, and 
the comparative thereof, is much more engraven upon man, 
if he degenerate not: unto whom the conservation of duty 
to the public ought to be much more precious than the 
conservation of life and being : according to that memorable 
speech of Pompeius Magnus, when being in commission of 
purveyance for a famine at Rome, and being dissuaded with 
great vehemency and instance by his friends about him 
that he should not hazard himself to sea in an extremity of 
weather, he said only to them, Necesse est ut earn , non ut 
vivam. 1 But it may be truly affirmed that there was never 
any philosophy, religion, or other discipline, which did so 
plainly and highly exalt the good which is communicative, 
and depress the good which is private and particular, as 
the Holy Faith; well declaring that it was the same God 
that gave the Christian law to men, who gave those laws 
of nature to inanimate creatures that we spoke of before ; 
for we read that the elected saints of God have wished 
themselves anathematized and razed out of the book of life, 
in an ecstasy of charity and infinite feeling of communion . 2 

This being set down and strongly planted, doth judge 
and determine most of the controversies wherein moral 
philosophy is conversant. For first, it decideth the 
question touching the preferment of the contemplative 
or active life, and decideth it against Aristotle. For 
all the reasons which he bringeth for the contemplative 
are private, and respecting the pleasure and dignity of a 
man’s self, (in which respects, no question, the contempla- 
tive life hath the pre-eminence) not much unlike to that 
comparison, which Pythagoras made for the gracing and 
1 Plut. Vit. Pomp . 2 Rom. ix. 3. 

Advancement of Learning 1 57 

magnifying of philosophy and contemplation : who* being 
asked what he was, answered, That if Hiero were ever at the 
Olympian games , he knew the manner, that some came to try 
their fortune for the prizes , and some came as merchants to 
utter their commodities, and some came to make good cheer 
and meet their friends, and some came Jo look^n ; and that 
he was one of them that came to look ^iben must 

know, that in this theatre of man’s life it is f^erved only 
for God and angels to be lookers on : neither could |he like 
question ever have been received in the^church (notwith- 
standing their Pretiosa in oculis Domini mor^Manctorum 
ejus , 1 2 by which place they would exalt their civil death and 
regular professions,) but upon this defence, that the monasti- 
cal life is not simply 3 contemplative, but performeth the 
duty either of incessant prayers and supplications, which 
hath been truly esteemed as an office in the church, or else 
of writing or taking instructions for writing concerning the 
law of God, as Moses did when he abode so long in the 
mount . 4 And so we see Enoch the seventh from Adam, 
who was the first contemplative, and walked with God, 
yet did also endow the church with prophecy, which St. 
Jude citeth . 5 But for contemplation which should be 
finished in itself, without casting beams upon society, 
assuredly divinity knoweth it not. 

It decideth also the controversies between Zeno and 
Socrates, and their schools and successions, on the one side, 
who placed felicity in virtue simply or attended, the actions 
and exercises whereof do chiefly embrace and concern 
society; and on the other side, the Cyrenaics and Epicur- 
eans, who placed it in pleasure, and made virtue, (as it is 
used in some comedies of errors, wherein the mistress and 
the maid change habits,) to be but as a servant, without 
which pleasure cannot be served and attended, and the 
reformed school of the Epicureans, which placed it in serenity 
of mind and freedom from perturbation, (as if they would 
have deposed Jupiter again, and restored Saturn and the 
first age, when there was no summer nor winter, spring nor 
autumn, but all after one air and season,) and Herillus, who 

1 Cic. Tusc. Qucest . v. 3, of Leo , tyrant of Phlius, not of Hiero . 

2 Ps. cxvi. 1 5. 

3 Edition 1605, simple ; 1629, 1633, simply. 

4 Ex. xxiv. 8 Jude 14. 



placed felicity in extinguishment of the disputes of the 
mind, making no fixed nature of good and evil, esteeming 
things according to the clearness of the desires, or the 
reluct ation; which opinion was revived in the heresy of the 
Anabaptists , 1 measuring things according to the motions 
of the spirit, and the constancy or wavering of belief: all 
which are manifest to tend to private repose and content- 
ment, and not to point of society. 

It censureth also the philosophy of Epictetus, which 
presupposeth that felicity must be placed in those things 
which are in our power, lest we be liable to fortune and 
disturbance: as if it were not a thing much more happy to 
fail in good and virtuous ends for the public, than to obtain 
all that we can wish to ourselves in our proper fortune; 
as Gonsalvo said to his soldiers, showing them Naples, and 
protesting, He had rather die one foot forwards , than to have 
his life secured for long by one foot of retreat . 2 Whereunto 
the wisdom of that heavenly leader hath signed, who hath 
affirmed that a good conscience is a continual feast ; 3 showing 
plainly that the conscience of good intensions, howsoever 
succeeding, is a more continual joy to nature, than all the 
provision which can be made for security and repose. 

It censureth likewise that abuse of philosophy, which 
grew general about the time of Epictetus, in converting it 
into an occupation or profession; as if the purpose had 
been, not to resist and extinguish perturbations, but to fly 
and avoid the causes of them, and to shape a particular 
kind and course of life to that end; introducing such a 
health of mind, as was that health of body of which Aristotle 
speaketh of Herodicus, who did nothing all his life long but 
intend his health : 4 whereas if men refer themselves to 
duties of society, as that health of body is best, which is 
ablest to endure all alterations and extremities; so likewise 
that health of mind is most proper, which can go through 
the greatest temptations and perturbations. So as Dio- 
genes’ opinion is to be accepted, who commended not them 
which abstained, but them which sustained, and could 

1 Anabaptists. ^ Bacon here refers to the doctrines held by the 
German Anabaptists. They believed themselves to be under special 
and divine influences, and therefore had no need of magistracies, of 
distinct ranks of men, or of restrictions in marriage. 

2 Guicciardini, vi. 2. 5 Prov. xv. 15. 

4 Arist. Rhe t. i, 5, 10. 

Advancement of Learning 159 

refrain their mind in prcecipitio , and could give unto the 
mind, as is used in horsemanship, the shortest stop or turn . 1 

Lastly, it censureth the tenderness and want of applica- 
tion in some of the most ancient and reverend philoso- 
phers and philosophical men, that did retire too easily 
from civil business, for avoiding of indignities and perturba- 
tions : whereas the resolution of men truly moral ought to 
be such as the same Gonsalvo said the honour of a soldier 
should be, e tela crassiore , and not so fine as that every- 
thing should catch in it and endanger it. 

To resume private or particular good ; it f alleth into the 
division of good active and passive : for this difference of 
good, not unlike to that which amongst the Romans was 
expressed in the familiar or household terms of promus 
and condus , is formed also in all things, and is best disclosed 
in the two several appetites in creatures; the one to pre- 
serve or continue themselves, and the other to dilate or 
multiply themselves; whereof the latter seemeth to be 
the worthier : for in nature the heavens, which are the more 
worthy, are the agent; and the earth, which is the less 
worthy, is the patient. In the pleasures of living creatures, 
that of generation is greater than that of food; in divine 
doctrine, beatius est dare quam accipere , 2 and in life, there 
is no man's spirit so soft, but esteemeth the effecting of 
somewhat that he hath fixed in his desire, more than 
sensuality; which priority of the active good, is much 
upheld by the consideration of our estate to be mortal 
and exposed to fortune. For if we might have a perpetuity 
and certainty in our pleasures, the state of them would 
advance their price: but when we see it is but magni 
cestimamus mori tardius , 3 and ne glorieris de crastino , nescis 
partum diei, A it maketh us to desire to have somewhat 
secured and exempted from time; which are only our 
deeds and works : as it is said opera eorum sequuntur eos . 5 
The pre-eminence likewise of this active good is upheld by 
the affection which is natural in man towards variety and 
proceeding; which in the pleasures of the sense, which is 
the principal part of passive good, can have no great latitude: 

1 Diog. Laert. Vita Diogenis, see Ellis and Spedding’s edition in 

2 Acts xx. 35. 3 Sen. Nat. Quasi, ii. 59. 

4 Prov. xxvii. 1. 6 Revel, xiv. 13. 

3 Sen. Nat. Quasi, ii. 59. 
6 Revel, xiv. 13. 

i 6o Bacon 

Cogita quamdiu eadem feceris ; cibus, somnus, Indus ; per 
kune eirculum curritur ; mori velle non tantum fortis, aut 
misery aut prudens , sed etiam fastidiosus potest ?• But in 
enterprises, pursuits, and purposes of life, there is much 
variety; whereof men are sensible with pleasure in their 
inceptions, progressions, recoils, reintegrations, approaches 
and attainings to their ends: so as it was well said Vita 
sine proposito languida et vaga est 2 Neither hath this 
active good any identity with the good of society, though in 
some case it hath an incidence into it; for although it do 
many times bring forth acts of beneficence, yet it is with 
a respect private to a man's own power, glory, amplifica- 
tion, continuance; as appeareth plainly, when it findeth a 
contrary subject. For that gigantine state of mind which 
possesseth the troublers of the world, such as was Lucius 
Sylla, and infinite other in smaller model, who would have 
ah men happy or unhappy as they were their friends or 
enemies, and would give form to the world, according to 
their own humours, (which is the true Theomachy,) pre- 
tendeth and aspireth to active good, though it recedeth 
farthest from good of society, which we have determined 
to be the greater. 

To resume passive good, it receiveth a subdivision of 
conservative and perfective. For let us take a brief review 
of that which we have said : we have spoken first of the good 
of society, the intention whereof embraceth the form of 
human nature, whereof we are members and portions, 
and not our own proper and individual form: we have 
spoken of active good, and supposed it as a part of private J 
and particular good: and rightly, for there is impressed 
upon all things a triple desire or appetite proceeding from 
love to themselves ; one of preserving and continuing their 
form; another of advancing and perfecting their form; 
and a third of multiplying and extending their form upon 
other things; whereof the multiplying, or signature of it 
upon other things, is that which we handled by the name 
of active good. So as there remaineth the conserving of 
it, and perfecting or raising of it ; which latter is the highest 
degree of passive good. For to preserve in state is the less, 

1 Sen. ad LuciL Epist. 77. 

* Sen. ad LuciL Epist. 95, where the words ** languida et ” are 

Advancement of Learning 1 6 1 

to preserve with advancement is the greater. So in 
man, — 

Igneus est ollis vigor, et caelestis origo. 1 

His approach or assumption to divine or angelical nature 
is the perfection of his form; the error or false imitation of 
which good is that which is the tempest of human life ; while 
man, upon the instinct of an advancement formal and 
essential is carried to seek an advancement local. For 
as those which are sick, and find no remedy, do tumble up 
and down and change place, as if by a remove local they 
could obtain a remove internal; so is it with men in am- 
bition, when failing of the means to exalt their nature, they 
are in a perpetual estuation to exalt their place. So then 
passive good is, as was said, either conservative or perfective. 

To resume the good of conservation or comfort, which 
consisteth in the fruition of that which is agreeable to our 
natures; it seemeth to be the most pure and natural of 
pleasures, but yet the softest and the lowest. And this 
also receiveth a difference, which hath neither been well 
judged of, nor well inquired: for the good of fruition or 
contentment is placed either in the sincereness of the fruition, 
or in the quickness and vigour of it; the one superinduced 
by equality, the other by vicissitude; the one having less 
mixture of evil, the other more impression of good. Which 
of these is the greater good is a question controverted; but 
whether man's nature may not be capable of both, is a 
question not inquired. 

The former question being debated between Socrates and 
a sophist, Socrates placing felicity in an equal and constant 
peace of mind, and the sophist in much desiring and much 
enjoying, they fell from argument to ill words: the sophist 
saying that Socrates' felicity was the felicity of a block or 
stone; and Socrates saying that the sophist's felicity was 
the felicity of one that had the itch, who did nothing but 
itch and scratch . 2 And both these opinions do not want 
their supports. For the opinion of Socrates is much up- 
held by the general consent even of the Epicures themselves, 
that virtue beareth a great part in felicity ; and if so, certain 
it is, that virtue hath more use in clearing perturbations 
than in compassing desires. The sophist's opinion is much 
1 Virg. JEn. vi. 730. 2 Plat. Gorg. 492, 494. 

1 62 Bacon 

favoured by the assertion we last spoke of, that good of 
advancement is greater than good of simple preserva- 
tion; because every obtaining a desire hath a show of 
advancement, as motion though in a circle has a show 
of progression. 

But the second question, decided the true way, maketh 
the former superfluous. For can it be doubted but that 
there are some who take more pleasure in enjoying pleasures 
than some other, and yet nevertheless are less troubled with 
the loss or leaving of them ? so as this same. Non uti ut non 
appeias, non appetere ut non metuas , sunt animi pusilli et 
diffidentis. And it seemeth to me, that most of the doc- 
trines of the philosophers are more fearful and cautionary 
than the nature of things requireth. So have they in- 
creased the fear of death in offering to cure it. For when 
they would have a man’s whole life to be but a discipline 
or preparation to die, they must needs make men think 
that it is a terrible enemy, against whom there is no end of 
preparing. Better saith the poet: — 

Qui spatium vitae extremum inter munera ponat 

Naturae . 1 

So have they sought to make men’s minds too uniform and 
harmonical, by not breaking them sufficiently to contrary 
motions: the reason whereof I suppose to be, because they 
themselves were men dedicated to a private, free, and 
unapplied course of life. For as we see, upon the lute or 
like instrument, a ground, though it be sweet and have 
show of many changes, yet breaketh not the hand to such 
strange and hard stops and passages as a set song or volun- 
tary; much after the same manner was the diversity 
between a philosophical and a civil life. And therefore 
men are to imitate the wisdom of jewellers; who, if there 
be a grain, or a cloud, or an ice , 2 which may be ground 
forth without taking too much of the stone, they help it; 
but if it should lessen and abate the stone too much, they 
will not meddle with it : so ought men so to procure serenity 
as they destroy not magnanimity. 

Having therefore deduced the good of man which is 
private and particular, as far as seemeth fit ; we will now 

1 Juv. Sat. x. 358. 

8 “ Nubecula aliqua aut glaciecula,” De Augm. 

Advancement of Learning 163 

return to that good of man which respecteth and beholdeth 
society, which we may term Duty; because the term of 
Duty is more proper to a mind well framed and disposed 
towards others, as the term of virtue is applied to a mind 
well formed and composed in itself: though neither can 
a man understand virtue without some relation to society, 
nor Duty without an inward disposition. This part may 
seem at first to pertain to science civil and politic: but not 
if it be well observed; for it concemeth the regiment and 
government of every man over himself, and not over others. 

And as in architecture the direction of framing the posts, 
beams, and other parts of building, is not the same with 
the manner of joining them and erecting the building; 
and in mechanicals, the direction how to frame an instru- 
ment or engine, is not the same with the manner of setting ■ 

it on work and employing it, (and yet nevertheless in 
expressing of the one you incidentally express the apt- 
ness towards the other;) so the doctrine of conjugation 
of men in society differeth from that of their conformity 

This part of Duty is subdivided into two parts: the 
common Duty of every man, as a man or member of a 
state; the other, the respective or special Duty of every 
man, in his profession, vocation, and place. The first of 
these is extant and well laboured, as hath been said. The 
second likewise I may report rather dispersed than deficient ; 
which manner of dispersed writing in this kind of argument 
I acknowledge to be best. For who can take upon him 
to write of the proper duty, virtue, challenge, and right 
of every several vocation, profession, and place? For 
although sometimes a looker on may see more than a game- 
ster, and there be a proverb more arrogant than sound, 
that the vale best discover eth the hill ; yet there is small doubt 
but that men can write best, and most really and materially, 
in their own professions ; and that the writing of speculative 
men of active matter, for the most part, doth seem to men 
of experience, as Phormio’s argument of the wars seemed 
to Hannibal, to be but dreams and dotage . 1 Only there 
is one vice which accompanieth them that write in their 
own professions, that they magnify them in excess. But 
generally it were to be wished, as that which would make 
1 Cic. de Or at. ii. 18, 75. 

164 Bacon 

learning indeed solid and fruitful, that active men would 
or could become writers. 

In which kind I cannot but mention, honoris causa , your 
Majesty's excellent book touching the duty of a king; 1 
a work richly compounded of divinity, morality, and 
policy, with great aspersion of all other arts; and being, 
in mine opinion, one of the most sound and healthful writ- 
ings that I have read; not distempered in the heat of inven- 
tion, nor in the coldness of negligence ; not sick of dizziness, 2 
as those are who leese themselves in their order; nor of 
convulsions, as those which cramp in matters impertinent; 
not savouring of perfumes and paintings, as those do who 
seek to please the reader more than nature beareth; and 
chiefly well disposed in the spirits thereof, being agreeable 
to truth and apt for action; and far removed from that 
natural infirmity, whereunto I noted those that write in 
their own professions to be subject, which is, that they 
exalt it above measure: for your majesty hath truly de- 
scribed, not a king of Assyria or Persia in their extern glory, 
but a Moses or a David, pastors of their people. Neither 
can I ever leese out of my remembrance, what I heard 
your majesty, in the same sacred spirit of Government, 
deliver in a great cause of judicature, which was, That 
kings ruled by their laws as God did by the laws of nature ; 
and ought as rarely to put in use their supreme prerogative , 
as God doth his power of working miracles. And yet not- 
withstanding, in your book of a free monarchy, 3 you do 
well give men to understand that you know the plenitude 
of the power and right of a king, as well as the circle of his 
office and duty. Thus have I presumed to allege this 
excellent writing of your majesty, as a prime or eminent 
example of tractates concerning special and respective 
duties : wherein I should have said as much, if it had been 
written a thousand years since : neither am I moved with 
certain courtly decencies, which esteem it flattery to praise 
in presence ; no, it is flattery to praise in absence ; that is, 
when either the virtue is absent, or the occasion is absent; 
and so the praise is not natural, but forced, either in truth 

1 Sc. the Basilicon Doron. 

* Dizziness — Latin Vertigines. The edition 1605 has dusinesse, 
1629 and 1633, businesse. 

* Sc. “ The True Law of Free Monarchies." 

Advancement of Learning 165 

or in time* But let Cicero be read in his oration pro Mar- 
cello, which is nothing but an excellent table of Caesar’s 
virtue, and made to his face; besides the example of many 
other excellent persons, wiser a great deal than such ob- 
servers; and we will never doubt, upon a full occasion, to 
give just praises to present or absent. 

But to return: there belongeth further to the handling 
of this part, touching the duties of professions and voca- 
tions, a relative or opposite, touching the frauds, cautels, 
impostures, and vices of every profession, which hath been 
likewise handled : but how ? rather in a satire and cynically 
than seriously and wisely: for men have rather sought by 
wit to deride and traduce much of that which is good in 
professions, than with judgment to discover and sever that 
which is corrupt. For, as Salomon saith, he that cometh 
to seek after knowledge with a mind to scorn and censure, 
shall be sure to find matter for his humour, but no matter 
for his instruction: Queer enti derisori scieniiam ipsa se 
abscondit ; sed studioso fit obviam. 1 But the managing of 
this argument with integrity and truth, which I note as 
deficient, seemeth to me to be one of the best fortifications 
for honesty and virtue that can be planted. For, as the I 

fable goeth of the basilisk, that if he see you first, you ■ 

die for it; but if you see him first, he dieth: so it is 
with deceits and evil arts; which, if they be first espied 
they leese their life; but if they prevent, they endanger. 

So that we are much beholden to Machiavel and others, 
that, write what men do, and not what they ought to do. 

For it is not possible to join serpentine wisdom with colum- 
bine innocency , 2 except men know exactly all the conditions 
of the serpent : his baseness and going upon his belly, his 
volubility and lubricity, his envy and sting, and the rest ; 
that is, all forms and natures of evil: for without this, 
virtue lieth open and unfenced. Nay, an honest man can 
do no good upon those that are wicked to reclaim them, 
without the help of the knowledge of evil. For men of 
corrupted minds presuppose that honesty groweth out of 
simplicity of manners, and believing of preachers, school- 
masters, and men's exterior language: so as, except you 
can make them perceive that you know the utmost reaches 
of their own corrupt opinions, they despise all morality; 

1 Prov. xiv. 6. a Matt. x. 1 6 . 

M 7*9 


Non recipit stultus verba prudentice, nisi ea dixeris quce 
versantur in corde ejus. 1 

Unto this part, touching Respective Duty, doth also 
appertain the duties between husband and wife, parent 
and child, master and servant: so likewise the laws of 
friendship and gratitude, the civil bond of companies, 
colleges, and politic bodies, of neighbourhood, and all other 
proportionate duties; not as they are parts of government 
and society, but as to the framing of the mind of particular 

The knowledge concerning good respecting Society doth 
handle it also, not simply alone, but comparatively ; where- 
unto belongeth the weighing of duties between person and 
person, case and case, particular and public: as we see in 
the proceeding of Lucius Brutus against his own sons, which 
was so much extolled ; yet what was said ? 

Inf elix, utcunque ferent ea fata minores. 2 

So the case was doubtful, and had opinion on both sides 
Again, we see when M. Brutus and Cassius invited to a 
supper certain whose opinions they meant to feel, whether 
they were fit to be made their associates, and cast forth the 
question touching the killing of a tyrant being a usurper, 
they were divided in opinion; 3 some holding that servitude 
was the extreme of evils, and others that tyranny was better 
than a civil war: and a number of the like cases there are 
of comparative duty; amongst which that of all others 
is the most frequent, where the question is of a great deal 
of good to ensue of a small injustice. Which Jason of 
Thessalia determined against the truth: Aliqua sunt 
injuste facienda, ut multa juste fieri possint . 4 But the reply 
is good, Auctorem prcesentis justitice hales , sponsorem 
futures non hales. Men must pursue things which are just 
in present, and leave the future to the divine Providence. 
So then we pass on from this general part touching the 
exemplar and description of good. 

Now therefore that we have spoken of this fruit of life, 
it remaineth to speak of the husbandry that belongeth 

1 Prov. xviii. 2. From the Vulgate. 

1 Virg. J£n. vi. 823. Bacon, or a misprint, has substituted fata 

for facta. 

* See Plutarch, Life of Brutus. 4 Plut. Prcec. Ger. Reip . 24. 

Advancement of Learning 16 j 

thereunto; without which part the former seemeth to be 
no better than a fair image, or statua, which is beautiful 
to contemplate, but is without life and motion ; whereunto 
Aristotle himself subscribeth in these words: Necesse est 
scilicet de virtute dicer e, et quid sit , et ex quibus gignatur. 
Inutile enim fere fuerit virtuiem quidem nosse, acquirendm 
autem ejus modos et vias ignorare : non enim de virtute 
tantum , qua specie sit , queer endum est, sed et quomodo sui 
copiam facial : utrumque enim volumus , et rem ipsam nosse, 
et ejus compotes fieri : hoc autem ex voto non succedet , nisi 
sciamus et ex quibus et quomodo I In such full words and 
with such iteration doth he inculcate this part. So saith 
Cicero in great commendation of Cato the second, that he 
had applied himself to philosophy. Non it a disputandi 
causa, sed ita vivendi . 1 2 * 4 And although the neglect of our 
times, wherein few men do hold any consultations touching 
the reformation of their life, (as Seneca excellently saith) 
De partibus vitce quisque deliberat, de summd nemo? may 
make this part seem superfluous; yet I must conclude with 
that aphorism of Hippocrates, Qui gravi morbo correpti 
dolor es non sentiunt , Us mens cegroiat ? they need medicine, 
not only to assuage the disease, but to awake the sense. 
And if it be said, that the cure of men’s minds belongeth 
to sacred divinity, it is most true : but yet moral philosophy 
may be preferred unto her as a wise servant and humble 
handmaid. For as the Psalm saith, that the eyes of the 
handmaid look perpetually towards the mistress? and yet no 
doubt many things are left to the discretion of the hand- 
maid, to discern of the mistress’s will; so ought moral 
philosophy to give a constant attention to the doctrines of 
divinity, and yet so as it may yield of herself, within due 
limits, many sound and profitable directions. 

This part therefore, because of the excellency thereof, 
I cannot but find exceeding strange that it is not reduced 
to written inquiry : the rather, because it consisteth of 
iftuch matter, wherein both speech and action is often 
conversant; and such wherein the common talk of men, 
„(which is rare, but yet cometh sometimes to pass,) is wiser 

1 Eth. Mag . A. i. 3. 2 Cic. pro Mur. xxx. (62). 

* Sen. ad Lucil. Epist. 71, where it is “ de partibus vitas omnes 

deliberamus, de iota nemo.” 

4 Hippoc. Aph . ii. 6. 

* Ps. cxxiii. 2. 

1 68 Bacon 

than their books. It is reasonable therefore that we pro- 
pound it in the more particularity, both for the worthiness, 
and because we may acquit ourselves for reporting it 
deficient; which seemeth almost incredible, and is other- 
wise conceived and presupposed by those themselves that 
have written. We will therefore enumerate some heads or 
points thereof, that it may appear the better what it is, and 
whether it be extant. 

First, therefore, in this, as in all things which are practical, 
we ought to cast up our account, what is in our power, and 
what not; for the one may be dealt with by way of altera- 
tion, but the other by way of application only. The 
husbandman cannot command neither the nature of the 
earth nor the seasons of the weather; no more can the 
physician the constitution of the patient, nor the variety of 
accidents. So in the culture and cure of the mind of man, 
two things are without our command; points of nature, 
and points of fortune. For to the basis of the one, and the 
conditions of the other, our work is limited and tied. In 
these things therefore it is left unto us to proceed by 
application ; 

Vincenda est omnis fortuna ferendo: 1 
and so likewise, 

Vincenda est omnis Natura ferendo. 

But when that we speak of suffering, we do not speak of a 
dull and neglected suffering, but of a wise and industrious 
suffering, which draweth and contriveth use and advantage 
out of that which seemeth adverse and contrary; which 
is that property which we call accommodating or applying. 
Now the wisdom of application resteth principally in the 
exact and distinct knowledge of the precedent state or 
disposition, unto which we do apply: for we cannot fit a 
garment, except we first take measure of the body. 

So then the first article of this knowledge is to set down 
sound and true distributions and descriptions of the 
several characters and tempers of men's natures and dis- 
positions; especially having regard to those differences 
which are most radical in being the fountains and causes 
of the rest, or most frequent in concurrence or commixture; 

1 Virg. Mn. v. 710. " Superanda omnis fortuna ferendo est.” 

Advancement of Learning 169 

wherein it is not the handling of a few of them in passage, 
the better to describe the mediocrities of virtues, that can 
satisfy this intention. For if it deserve to be considered, 
that there are minds which are proportioned to great 
matters, and others to small , 1 (which Aristotle handleth, 
or ought to have handled, by the name of magnanimity;) 
doth it not deserve as well to be considered, that there are 
minds proportioned to intend many matters, and others 
to few? So that some can divide themselves: others can 
perchance do exactly well, but it must be in few things 
at once: and so there cometh to be a narrowness of mind, 
as well as a pusillanimity. And again, that some minds are 
proportioned to that which may be dispatched at once, or 
within a short return of time ; others to that which begins 
afar off, and is to be won with length of pursuit : 

Jam turn tenditque fovetque. 3 

So that there may be fitly said to be a longanimity, which 
is commonly also ascribed to God as a magnanimity. So 
further deserved it to be considered by Aristotle; that there 
is a disposition in conversation {supposing it in things which 
do in no sort touch or concern a man's self,) to soothe and 
please; and a disposition contrary to contradict and cross: 
and deserveth it not much better to be considered, that there 
is a disposition , not in conversation or talk , hut in matter of 
more serious nature, {and supposing it still in things merely 
indifferent ,) to take pleasure in the good of another : and a 
disposition contrariwise , to take distaste at the good of another? 3 
which is that property 4 which we call good nature or ill 
nature, benignity or malignity: and therefore I cannot 
sufficiently marvel that this part of knowledge, touching 
the several characters of natures and dispositions, should 
be omitted both in morality and policy; considering it is 
of so great ministry and suppeditation to them both. A 
man shall find in the traditions of astrology some pretty 
and apt divisions of men's natures, according to the pre- 
dominances of the planets; lovers of quiet, lovers of action, 
lovers of victory , lovers of honour , lovers of pleasure, lovers 
of arts, lovers of change, and so forth. A man shall find in 

1 Arist. Eth . Nic . iv. 7. 3 Virg. J£n. i. 22. 

8 Eth . Nic. iv. 6. 

4 In all three early editions this word is printed properly . 


the wisest sort of these relations which the Italians make 
touching conclaves, the natures of the several cardinals 
handsomely and lively painted forth: a man shall meet 
with in every day's conference, the denominations of 
sensitive , dry, formal , real, humorous, certain, huomo di prima 
impressione, huomo di ultima impressione, and the like : and 
yet nevertheless this kind of observation wandereth in 
words, but is not fixed in inquiry. For the distinctions are 
found, many of them, but we conclude no precepts upon 
them: wherein our fault is the greater; because both 
history, poesy, and daily experience are as goodly fields 
where these observations grow; whereof we make a few 
posies to hold in our hands, but no man bringeth them to 
the confectionary, that receipts might be made of them for 
use of life. 

Of much like kind are those impressions of nature, which 
are imposed upon the mind by the sex, by the age, by the 
region, by health and sickness, by beauty and deformity, 
and the like, which are inherent and not extern; and again, 
those which are caused by extern fortune ; as sovereignty, 
nobility, obscure birth, riches, want, magistracy, private- 
ness, prosperity, adversity, constant fortune, variable 
fortune, rising per saltum, per gradus, and the like. And 
therefore we see that Plautus maketh it a wonder to see an 
old man beneficent, benignitas hujus ut adolescentuli est . 1 
St. Paul concludeth that severity of discipline was to be 
used to the Cretans, increpa eos dure, upon the disposition 
of their country, Cretenses semper mendaces, mala bestice, 
ventres pigri . 2 Sallust noteth that it is usual with kings 
to desire contradictories : Sed plerumque regia voluntaies, 
ut vehementes sunt, sic mobiles, sapeque ipsa sibi adversa . 3 
Tacitus observeth how rarely raising of the fortune mendeth 
the disposition: solus Vespasianus mutatus in melius , 4 
Pindarus maketh an observation, that great and sudden 
fortune for the most part defeateth men qui magnam 
felicitatem concoquere non possunt} So the psalm showeth 
it is more easy to keep a measure in the enjoying of fortune, 
than in the increase of fortune : divitia si affluant , nolite 
cor apponere* These observations, and the like, I deny not 

2 Tit. i. 12. 

4 Tac. Hist. i. 50. 

Olym. i. 55. 6 Ps. lxii, 10 

1 Plant. Mil, Glor . iii. i, 39. 

* Bell. Jug. 1 1 3. 

4 Karairiipat fi4y ay SXgov o$k iSvydatiy, 

Advancement of Learning 171 

but are touched a little by Aristotle, as in passage in his 
Rhetorics , 1 and are handled in some scattered discourses: 
but they were never incorporated into moral philosophy, 
to which they do essentially appertain ; as the knowledge 
of the diversity of grounds and moulds doth to agriculture, 
and the knowledge of the diversity of complexions and 
constitutions doth to the physician; except we mean to 
follow the indiscretion of empirics, which minister the 
same medicines to all patients. 

Another article of this knowledge is the inquiry touching 
the affections; for as in medicining of the body, it is in 
order first to know the divers complexions and constitu- 
tions; secondly, the diseases; and lastly, the cures: so in 
medicining of the mind, after knowledge of the divers 
characters of men's natures, it followeth, in order, to know 
the diseases and infirmities of the mind, which are no other 
than the perturbations and distempers of the affections. 
For as the ancient politiques in popular states 2 were wont 
to compare the people to the sea, and the orators to the 
winds; because as the sea would of itself be calm and quiet, 
if the winds did not move and trouble it; so the people 
would be peaceable and tractable, if the seditious orators 
did not set them in working and agitation: so it may be 
fitly said, that the mind in the nature thereof would be 
temperate and stayed, if the affections, as winds, did not 
put it into tumult and perturbation. And here again I 
find strange, as before, that Aristotle should have written 
divers volumes of ethics, and never handled the affections, 
which is the principal subject thereof; and yet in his 
Rhetorics, where they are considered but collaterally, and 
in a second degree, as they may be moved by speech, he 
findeth place for them , 3 and handieth them well for the 
quantity; but where their true place is, he pretermitteth 
them. For it is not his disputations about pleasure and 
pain that can satisfy this inquiry, no more than he that 
should generally handle the nature of light can be said to 
handle the nature of colours; for pleasure and pain are to 
the particular affections as light is to particular colours. 

1 Arist. RheL ii. 12-17. 

3 Bacon here seems to refer to Solon's lines on Pisistratus. Ellis’ 
edition quotes Cic. pro Cluent. 49. 

3 Arist. Rhet. ii. 1-11. 



Better travails, I suppose, had the Stoics taken in this 
argument, as far as I can gather by that which we have at 
second hand. But yet, it is like, it was after their manner, 
rather in subtilty of definitions, (which in a subject of this 
nature are but curiosities,) than in active and ample 
descriptions and observations. So likewise I find some 
particular writings of an elegant nature, touching some 
of the affections; as of anger, of comfort upon adverse 
accidents, of tenderness of countenance, and other . 1 

But the poets and writers of histories are the best doctors 
of this knowledge; where we may find painted forth with 
great life, how affections are kindled and incited; and how 
pacified and refrained; and how again contained from act 
and further degree; how they disclose themselves; how 
they work; how they vary; how they gather and fortify; 
how they are in wrapped one within another; and how they 
do fight and encounter one with another; and other the 
like particularities: amongst the which this last is of special 
use in moral and civil matters ; how, I say, to set affection 
against affection, and to master one by another; even as 
we use to hunt beast with beast, and fly bird with bird, 
which otherwise percase we could not so easily recover: 
upon which foundation is erected that excellent use of 
premium and poena , whereby civil states consist : employ- 
ing the predominant affections of fear and hope, for the 
suppressing and bridling the rest. For as in the govern- 
ment of states it is sometimes necessary to bridle one 
faction with another, so it is in the government within. 

Now come we to those points which are within our own 
command, and have force and operation upon the mind, 
to affect the will and appetite, and to alter manners: 
wherein they ought to have handled custom, exercise, 
habit, education, example, imitation, emulation, company, 
friends, praise, reproof, exhortation, fame, laws, books, 
studies: these as they have determinate use in moralities, 
from these the mind suffereth; and of these are such 
receipts and regiments compounded and described, as may 
seem to recover or preserve the health and good estate of 
the mind, as far as pertaineth to human medicine: of 
which number we will insist upon some one or two, as 
an example of the rest, because it were too long to prose- 
1 Such as Plutarch’s and Seneca’s. 

Advancement of Learning 173 

cute all; and therefore we do resume custom and habit to 
speak of. 

The opinion of Aristotle seemeth to me a negligent 
opinion, that of those things which consist by nature 
nothing can be changed by custom; using for example, that 
if a stone be thrown ten thousand times up, it will not learn 
to ascend ; 1 and that by often seeing or hearing, we do not 
learn to see or hear the better. For though this principle 
be true in things wherein nature is peremptory (the reason 
whereof we cannot now stand to discuss), yet it is otherwise 
in things wherein nature admitteth a latitude. For he 
might see that a strait glove will come more easily on with 
use; and that a wand will by use bend otherwise than it 
grew; and that by use of the voice we speak louder and 
stronger; and that by use of enduring heat or cold, we 
endure it the better, and the like: which latter sort have 
a nearer resemblance unto that subject of manners he 
handleth, than those instances which he allegeth. But 
allowing his conclusion, that virtues and vices consist in 
habit, he ought so much the more to have taught the 
manner of superinducing that habit: for there be many 
precepts of the wise ordering the exercises of the mind, as 
there is of ordering the exercises of the body; whereof we 
will recite a few. 

The first shall be, that we beware we take not at the first 
either too high a strain, or too weak: for if too high, in a 
diffident nature you discourage, in a confident nature you 
breed an opinion of facility, and so a sloth; and in all 
natures you breed a farther expectation than can hold out, 
and so an insatisfaction in the end : if too weak on the other 
side, you may not look to perform and overcome any great 

Another precept is, to practise all things chiefly at two 
several times, the one when the mind is best disposed, the 
other when it is worst disposed; that by the one you may 
gain a great step, by the other you may work out the knots 
and stonds of the mind, and make the middle times the 
more easy 2 and pleasant. 

1 Eth. Nic. ii. 1, 2. 

a Edition 1605 has easily — Latin, “ facile et placide delabentur ” 
— from which Mr. Spedding suggests that Bacon may have originally 
written " run more easily” 

174 Bacon 

Another precept is, that which Aristotle mentioneth 
by the way, which is to bear ever towards the contrary 
extreme of that whereunto we are by nature inclined; 
like unto the rowing against the stream, or making a 
wand straight by bending 1 him contrary to his natural 
crookedness . 2 

Another precept is, that the mind is brought to anything 
better, and with more sweetness and happiness, if that 
whereunto you pretend be not first in the intention, but 
tanquam aliud agendo , because of the natural hatred of 
the mind against necessity and constraint. Many other 
axioms there are touching the managing of exercise and 
custom; which being so conducted doth prove indeed 
another nature; but being governed by chance doth 
commonly prove but an ape of nature, and bringing forth 
that which is lame and counterfeit. 

So if we should handle books and studies, and what 
influence and operation they have upon manners, are 
there not divers precepts of great caution and direction 
appertaining thereunto ? Did not one of the fathers 3 in 
great indignation call poesy, vinum dcemonum , because it 
increaseth temptations, perturbations, and vain opinions ? 
Is not the opinion of Aristotle worthy to be regarded, 
wherein he saith, That young men are no fit auditors of moral 
philosophy , because they are not settled from the boiling heat 
of their affections, nor attempered with time and experience ? 4 
And doth it not hereof come, that those excellent books 
and discourses of the ancient writers, (whereby they have 
persuaded unto virtue most effectually, by representing 
her in state and majesty, and popular opinions against 
virtue in their parasites’ coats fit to be scorned and derided,) 
are of so little effect towards honesty of life, because they 
are not read and revolved by men in their mature and 
settled years, but confined almost to boys and beginners ? 
But is it not true also, that much less young men are fit 
auditors of matters of policy, till they have been thoroughly 
seasoned in religion and morality; lest their judgments be 
corrupted, and made apt to think that there are no true 

1 Editions 1605 and 1624 have binding 

a Eth. Nic . ii. 9, 5. 

* Probably St. Augustine. 

* Eth. Nic . i. 3, 5. 

Advancement of Learning 175 

differences of things, but according to utility and fortune, 
as the verse describes it, 

Prosperum et felix scelus virtus vocatur; 1 
and again, 

Ille crucem pretium sceleris tulit, hie diadema: 2 

which the poets do speak satirically, and in indignation on 
virtue's behalf; but books of policy do speak it seriously 
and positively; for so it pleaseth Machiavel to say, That if 
Ccesar had been overthrown , he would have been more odious 
than ever was Catiline ; 3 as if there had been no difference 
but in fortune, between a very fury of lust and blood, and 
the most excellent spirit (his ambition reserved) of the 
world? Again, is there not a caution likewise to be given 
of the doctrines of moralities themselves, (some kinds of 
them,) lest they make men too precise, arrogant, incom- 
patible; as Cicero saith of Cato, In Marco Catone hcec bona 
quee videmus divina et egregia , ipsius scitote esse propria ; 
quee nonnunquam requirimus, ea sunt omnia non a naturd, 
sed a magistro ? 4 Many other axioms and advices there 
are touching those proprieties and effects which studies 
do infuse and instil into manners. And so likewise is there 
touching the use of all those other points, of company, 
fame, laws, and the rest, which we recited in the beginning 
in the doctrine of morality. 

But there is a kind of culture of the mind that seemeth 
yet more accurate and elaborate than the rest, and is built 
upon this ground; that the minds of all men are at some 
times in a state more perfect, and at other times in a state 
more depraved. The purpose therefore of this practice 
is to fix and cherish the good hours of the mind, and 
to obliterate and take forth the evil. The fixing of the 
good hath been practised by two means, vows or constant 
resolutions, and observances or exercises; which are not 
to be regarded so much in themselves, as because they keep 
the mind in continual obedience. The obliteration of the 
evil hath been practised by two means, some kind of 
redemption or expiation of that which is past, and an 
inception or account de novo, for the time to come. But 

1 Senec. Here. Fur. 251. 2 Juv. Sat. xiii. 105. 

3 Machiav. disc, sopra T. Livio, I. x. 4 Cic. pro Mur . xxix. 61. 



this part seemeth sacred and religious, and justly; for all 
good moral philosophy, as was said, is but a handmaid to 

Wherefore we will conclude with that last point, which is 
of all other means the most compendious and summary, 
and again, the most noble and effectual to the reducing of 
the mind unto virtue and good estate ; which is the electing 
and propounding unto a man's self good and virtuous ends 
of his life, such as may be in a reasonable sort within his 
compass to attain. For if these two things be supposed, 
that a man set before him honest and good ends, and again, 
that he* be resolute, constant, and true unto them; it 
will follow that he shall mould himself into all virtue at 
once. And this indeed is like the work of nature; whereas 
the other course is like the work of the hand. For as when 
a carver makes an image, he shapes only that part where- 
upon he worketh, (as if he be upon the face, that part 
which shall be the body is but a rude stone still, till such 
time as he comes to it;) but, contrariwise, when nature 
makes a flower or living creature, she formeth rudiments 
of all the parts at one time : so in obtaining virtue by habit, 
while a man practiseth temperance, he doth not profit 
much to fortitude, nor the like: but when he dedicateth 
and appiieth himself to good ends, look, what virtue 
soever the pursuit and passage towards those ends doth 
commend unto him, he is invested of a precedent disposi- 
tion to conform himself thereunto. Which state of mind 
Aristotle doth excellently express himself that it ought 
not to be called virtuous, but divine: his words are these: 
Immanitati autem consentaneum est opponere earn, quce supra 
humanitatem est, heroicam sive divinam virtutem : and a 
little after, Nam ut feres neque vitium neque virtus est, sic 
neque Dei : sed hie quidem status altius quiddam virtute 
est, Me aliud quiddam a vitio . 1 And therefore we may see 
what celsitude of honour Plinius Secundus attributeth to 
Trajan in his funeral oration; 2 where he said. That men 
needed to make no other prayers to the gods, but that they would 
continue as good Lords to them as Trajan had been; z as if 

1 Arist. Eth. Nic. vii. 1, 1. 

2 Bacon seems to have thought that the Panegyric was delivered 

after Trajan’s death. He became aware of his error before the 
Latin, was published ; for he there omits the words " in his funeral 
oration.” v U-:../-. \ * Plin. Paneg. 74. 

Advancement of Learning 177 

he had not been only an imitation of divine nature, but a 
pattern of it. But these be heathen and profane passages, 
having but a shadow of that divine state of mind, which 
religion and the holy faith doth conduct men unto, by 
imprinting upon their souls charity, which is excellently 
called the bond of perfection, because it comprehendeth 
and fasteneth all virtues together . 1 And as it is 
elegantly said by Menander of vain love, which is but 
a false imitation of divine love. Amor melior Sophista 
Icevo ad humanam vitarn , 2 that love teacheth a man to carry 
himself better than the sophist or preceptor; which he 
calleth left-handed, because, with all his rules and precepts, 
he cannot form a man so dexterously, nor with that facility 
to prize himself and govern himself, as love can do: so 
certainly, if a man’s mind be truly inflamed with char ity, 
it doth work him suddenly into a greater perfection than 
all the doctrine of morality can do, which is but a sophist 
in comparison of the other. Nay further, as Xenophon 
observed truly, that all other affections, though they raise 
the mind, yet they do it by distorting and uncomeliness 
of ecstasies or excesses; but only love doth exalt the mind, 
and nevertheless at the same instant doth settle and com- 
pose it ; 3 so in all other excellencies, though they advance 
nature, yet they are subject to excess; only charity ad- 
mitteth no excess. For so we see, aspiring to be like God 
in power, the angels transgressed and fell; Ascendam, et 
ero similis altissimo : 4 by aspiring to be like God in know- 
ledge, man transgressed and fell; Eritis sicut DU, scientes 
bonum et malum : 5 but by aspiring to a similitude of God 
in goodness or love, neither man nor angel ever transgressed, 
or shall transgress. For unto that imitation we are called: 
Diligite inimicos vestros, benefacite eis qui oderunt vos, et 
orate pro persequentibus et calumniantibus vos, ut sitis filii 
Patris vestri qui in ccelis est, qui solem suum oriri facit super 
bonos et malos, et pluit super justos et injustos , 6 So in the 
first platform of the divine nature itself, the heathen 

1 Coloss. iii. 14. 

2 “ Not Menander but Anaxandrides — 

crotpicrTOv y Lvercu dcdacTKaXos 
xjKcliou 7 ro\i) KpeiTTtov rrpos t6v avOpibirov [3lov. yi 


8 Xen. Symp. ad init . 4 Isai. xiv. 14. 

8 Gen. iii. 5. « Luke vi. 27, 28. 


religion speaketh thus, Optimus Maximus : and the sacred 
Scriptures thus, Misericordia ejus super omnia opera ejus . 1 

Wherefore I do conclude this part of moral knowledge, 
concerning the culture and regimen of the mind; wherein 
if any man, considering the parts thereof which I have 
enumerated, do judge that my labour is but to collect into 
an art of science that which hath been pretermitted by 
others, as matter of common sense and experience, he 
judgeth well. But as Philocrates sported with Demos- 
thenes, You may not marvel , Athenians, that Demosthenes 
and I do differ ; for he drinketh water , and I drink wine ; 2 
and like as we read of an ancient parable of the two gates of 
sleep , 

Sunt gemmae somni portae : quarum altera fertur 
Cornea, qua veris facilis datur exitus umbris : 

Altera candenti perfecta nitens elephanto, 

Sed falsa ad coelum mittunt insomnia manes : 3 

so if we put on sobriety and attention, we shall find it a 
sure maxim in knowledge, that the more pleasant liquor of 
wine is the more vaporous, and the braver gate of ivory 
sendeth forth the falser dreams. 

But we have now concluded that general part of human 
philosophy, which contemplateth man segregate, and as he 
consisteth of body and spirit. Wherein we may further 
note, that there seemeth to be a relation or conformity 
between the good of the mind and the good of the body. 
For as we divided the good of the body into health, beauty, 
strength, and pleasure; so the good of the mind, inquired 
in rational and moral knowledges, tendeth to this, to make 
the mind sound, and without perturbation; beautiful, and 
graced with decency; and strong and agile for all duties of 
life. These three, as in the body, so in the mind, seldom 
meet, and commonly sever. For it is easy to observe, 
that many have strength of wit and courage, but have 
neither health from perturbations, nor any beauty or 
decency in their doings; some again have an elegancy 
and fineness of carriage, which have neither soundness of 
honesty, nor substance of sufficiency: and some again 
have honest and reformed minds, that can neither become 
themselves nor manage business: and sometimes two of 

1 Ps. cxlv. 9. 2 Demosth. de Fals. Leg . p. 355. 

s Virg. JEn. vi. 894. 

Advancement of Learning 179 

them meet, and rarely all three. As for pleasure, we have 
likewise determined that the mind ought not to be reduced 
to stupid , 1 but to retain pleasure; confined rather in the 
subject of it, than in the strength and vigour of it. 

Civil knowledge is conversant about a subject which of all 
others is most immersed in matter, and hardliest reduced 
to axiom. Nevertheless, as Cato the Censor said, That the 
Romans were like sheep, for that a man might better drive a 
flock of them, than one of them) for in a flock, if you could 
but get some few to go right, the rest would follow : 2 so in 
that respect moral philosophy is more difficile than policy. 
Again, moral philosophy propoundeth to itself the framing 
of internal goodness; but civil knowledge requireth only 
an external goodness; for that as to society sufficeth. 
And therefore it cometh oft to pass that there be evil times 
in good governments: for so we find in the holy story, 
when the kings were good, yet it is added, Sed adhuc populus 
non direxerat cor suum ad Dominum Deum patrum suorum . 3 
Again, states, as great engines, move slowly, and are not 
so soon put out of frame : for as in Egypt the seven good 
years sustained the seven bad, so governments for a time 
well grounded, do bear out errors following; but the 
resolution of particular persons is more suddenly subverted. 
These respects do somewhat qualify the extreme difficulty 
of civil knowledge. 

This knowledge hath three parts, according to the three 
summary actions of society; which are conversation, 
negotiation, and government. For man seeketh in society 
comfort, use, and protection : and they be three wisdoms 
of divers natures, which do often sever: wisdom of the 
behaviour, wisdom of business, and wisdom of state. 

The wisdom of conversation ought not to be over much 
affected, but much less despised; for it hath not only an 
honour in itself, but an influence also into business and 
government. The poet saith, 

Nec vultu destrue verbo tuo: 4 

1 Should this be stupidity or stupor ? In the Latin it is " reddat 
animum — non stupidum, sed voluptatis — sensum vivide retinen- 
tem.” 2 Plut. Vit. Cat. 

a 2 Chron. xx. 33. 4 Ovid, ii. 312, de Art Am. 

180 Bacon 

a man may destroy the force of his words with his counten- 
ance: so may he of his deeds, saith Cicero, recommending 
to his brother affability and easy access; Nil interest habere 
ostium apertum, vultum clausum ; 1 it is nothing won to 
admit men with an open door, and to receive them with a 
shut and reserved countenance. So, we see, Atticus, before 
the first interview between Caesar and Cicero, the war 
depending, did seriously advise Cicero touching the compos- 
ing and ordering of his countenance and gesture . 2 And if 
the government of the countenance be of such effect, much 
more is that of the speech, and other carriage appertaining 
to conversation ; the true model whereof seemeth to me well 
expressed by Livy, though not meant for this purpose: Ne 
aut arrogans videar , aut obnoxius ; quorum alterum est alienee 
libertatis obliti, alterum suce : 3 The sum of behaviour is to 
retain a man's own dignity, without intruding upon the 
liberty of others. On the other side, if behaviour and 
outward carriage be intended too much, first it may pass 
into affectation, and then Quid deformius quam scenam in 
vitam transferre (to act a man's life)? But although it 
proceed not to that extreme, yet it consumeth time, and 1 
employeth the mind too much. And therefore as we use to 
advise young students from company keeping, by saying, 
Amici fures temporis : so certainly the intending of the 
discretion of behaviour is a great thief of meditation. 
Again, such as are accomplished in that hour 4 of urbanity 
please themselves in it , 5 and seldom aspire to higher virtue; 
whereas those that have defect in it do seek comeliness by 
reputation; for where reputation is, almost everything 
becometh; but where that is not, it must be supplied by 
puntos , and compliments. Again, there is no greater 
impediment of action than an over-curious observance of 
decency, and the guide of decency, which is time and season. 

1 Q. Cic. de Petit. Consul, xi. 44. 

* Cic. ad Att. ix, 12. * Livy, xxiii. 1 2. 

4 Howr, edition 1605; hour, 1633; forme, 1629. Mr. Spedding 
suggests and prints honor — not improbably. The Latin is: “ Qui 
primas in nrbanitate obtinent, et ad hanc rem quasi nati videntur ” 

— to which " primas ” honor well agrees. It might possibly be 
either show or flower. But honor seems better, save that the phrase 
" honor of urbanity ” is forced. 

* In it. Editions 1605 and 1633 have in name ; 1629, in it, Latin, 

“ ut sibi ipsis in ilia sola complaceant,” which agrees with our 

Advancement of Learning x 8 1 

For as Salomon saith, Qui respicit ad ventos , non seminal ; ei 
qui respicit ad nubes , non metet : l a man must make his 
opportunity, as oft as find it. To conclude, behaviour 
seemeth to me as a garment of the mind, and to have the 
conditions of a garment. For it ought to be made in 
fashion; it ought not to be too curious; it ought to be 
shaped so as to set forth any good making of the mind, 
and hide any deformity; and above all, it ought not to 
be too strait, or restrained for exercise or motion. But 
this part of civil knowledge hath been elegantly handled, 
and therefore I cannot report it for deficient. 

The wisdom touching negotiation or business hath not 
been hitherto collected into writing, to the great derogation 
of learning, and the professors of learning. For from this 
root springeth chiefly that note or opinion, which by us is I 

expressed in adage to this effect, that there is no great ■ 

concurrence between learning and wisdom. For of the 
three wisdoms which we have set down to pertain to civil 
life, for wisdom of behaviour it is by learned men for the 
most part despised, as an inferior to virtue, and an enemy 
to meditation; for wisdom of government, they acquit 
themselves well, when they are called to it, but that hap- 
peneth to few; but for the wisdom of business, wherein 
man's life is most conversant, there be no books of it, 
except some few scattered advertisements, that have no 
proportion to the magnitude of this subject. For if books 
were written of this, as the other, I doubt not but learned 
men with mean experience, would far excel men of long 
experience without learning, and outshoot them in their 
own bow. 

Neither needeth it at all to be doubted, that this know- 
ledge should be so variable as it falleth not under precept; 
for it is much less infinite than science of government, 
which, we see, is laboured and in some part reduced. Of 
this wisdom, it seemeth some of the ancient Romans in 
the saddest and wisest times were professors; for Cicero 
reporteth 2 that it was then in use for senators that had 
name and opinion for general wise men, as Coruncanius, 

Curius, Laelius, and many others, to walk at certain hours 
in the Place, and to give audience to those that would use 
their advice; and that the particular citizens would resort 

1 Eccles. xi. 4. 2 Cic. de Orat. iii. 133, 134 (cap. 33). 

N 7*9 


unto them, and consult with them of the marriage of a 
daughter, or of the employing of a son, or of a purchase 
or bargain, or of an accusation, and every other occasion 
incident to man's life. So as there is a wisdom of counsel 
and advice even in private causes, arising out of a universal 
insight into the affairs of the world; which is used indeed 
upon particular causes propounded, but is gathered by 
general observation of cases 1 of like nature. For so we 
see in the book which Q. Cicero writeth to his brother, 
De petitione consulatus, (being the only book of business 
that I know written by the ancients,) although it concerned 
a particular action set on foot, yet the substance thereof 
consisteth of many wise and politic axioms, which contain 
not a temporary, but a perpetual direction in the case of 
popular elections. But chiefly we may see in those aphor- 
isms which have place among divine writings, composed 
by Salomon the king, (of whom the Scriptures testify that 
his heart was as the sands of the sea , 2 * encompassing the 
world and all worldly matters,) we see, I say, not a few 
profound and excellent cautions, precepts, positions, ex- 
tending to much variety of occasions; whereupon we will 
stay awhile, offering to consideration some number of 

Sed et cunctis sermonibus qui dicuntur ne accommodes aurem 
tuam y ne forte audias servum tuum maledicentem tibi 2 Here 
is concluded the provident stay of inquiry of that which 
we would be loth to find: as it was judged great wisdom 
in Pompeius Magnus that he burned Sertorius' papers 
unperused . 4 

Vir sapiens , si cum stidto contender it, sive irascatur y sive 
rideat , non inveniet requiem . 5 Here is described the great 
disadvantage which a wise man hath in undertaking a 
lighter person than himself; which is such an engagement 
as, whether a man turn the matter to jest, or turn it to heat, 
or howsoever he change copy, he can no ways quit himself 
well of it. 

Qui delicate a pueritia nutrit servum suum , postea sentiet 
eum contumacem . 6 Here is signified, that if a man begin 

1 Editions 1629 and 1633 have causes . 

2 1 Kings iv. 29. 8 Eccles. vii. 21. 

4 Plut. Vii Pomp . c. 20. * Prov. xxix. 9. 

*Prov. xxix. 21, 

Advancement of Learning 183 

too high a pitch in his favours, it doth commonly end in 
unkindness and unthankfulness. 

Vidisti virum velocem in opere suo P coram regibus stabit , 
nec erit inter ignobiles . 1 Here is observed, that of all virtues 
for rising to honour, quickness of despatch is the best; for 
superiors many times love not to have those they employ 
too deep or too sufficient, but ready and diligent. 

Vidi cunctos viventes qui ambulant sub sole , cum adolescents 
secundo qui consurgit pro eo . 2 Here is expressed that ' which 
was noted by Sylla first, and after him by Tiberius; Plures 
adorant solem orientem quam occidentem vel meridianum . 3 

Si spiritus potestatem habentis ascendent super te, locum 
tuum ne demiseris ; quia curatio faciet cessare peccata 
maxima . 4 Here caution is given, that upon displeasure, 
retiring is of all courses the unfittest; for a man leaveth 
things at worst, and depriveth himself of means to make 
them better. 

Erat civitas parv a, et pauci in ea viri : venit contra earn 
rex magnus, et vadavit earn, instruxitque munitiones per 
gyrum, et perfecta est obsidio ; inventusque est in ea vir 
pauper et sapiens, et liberavit earn per sapientiam suam ; et 
nullus deinceps recordatus est hominis illius pauperis . 5 Here 
the corruption of states is set forth, that esteem not virtue 
or merit longer than they have use of it. 

Mollis responsio frangit iram . 6 Here is noted that silence 
or rough answer exasperateth ; but an answer present and 
temperate pacifieth. 

Iter pigrorum quasi sepes spinarum . 7 Here is lively 
represented how laborious sloth proveth in the end; for 
when things are deferred till the last instant, and nothing 
prepared beforehand, every step findeth a brier or an 
impediment, which catcheth or stoppeth. 

Melior est finis orationis quam principium ? Here is 
taxed the vanity of formal speakers, that study more about 
prefaces and inducements, than upon the conclusions and 
issues of speech. 

Qui cognoscit in judicio faciem, non bene facit ; iste et pro 

1 Prov. xxii. 29. 2 Eccles. iv. 15. 

3 Plut. Vit. Pomp, and Tacit. Ann. vi. 4 6. The words vel meri- 
dian urn are omitted in the Latin, as they should be here. 

4 Eccles. x. 4. 5 ix. I4f I5> 

* Prov. xv. 1. » xv. 19. 

8 Eccles. vii. S. 


bucella panis deseret veritatem . 1 Here is noted, that a judge 
were better be a briber than a respecter of persons; for a 
corrupt judge offendeth not so lightly 2 as a facile. 

Vir pauper calumnians pauperes similis est irnbri vehe- 
mently in quo paratur fames? Here is expressed the extre- 
mity of necessitous extortions, figured in the ancient fable 
of the full and the hungry horseleech. 

Tons turbatus pede , et vena corrupta } est justus cadens 
coram impio . 4 Here is noted, that one judicial and exem- 
plar iniquity in the face of the world, doth trouble the 
fountains of justice more than many particular injuries 
passed over by connivance. 

Qui subtrahit aliquid a patre et a matre , et dicit hoc non 
esse peccatum , pariiceps est homicidii ? Here is noted, that 
whereas men in wronging their best friends use to extenuate 
their fault, as if they might presume or be bold upon them, 
it doth contrariwise indeed aggravate their fault, and 
turneth it from injury to impiety. 

Noli esse amicus homini iracundo } nec ambulato cum 
homine furioso? Here caution is given, that in the election 
of our friends we do principally avoid those which are 
impatient, as those that will espouse us to many factions 
and quarrels. 

Qui conturbat domum suam , possidebit ventum? Here is 
noted, that in domestical separations and breaches men 
do promise to themselves quieting of their mind and con- 
tentment; but still they are deceived of their expectation, 
and it turneth to wind. 

Filius sapiens Icetificat patrem : filius vero stultus mcestitia 
est matri suce? Here is distinguished, that fathers have 
most comfort of the good proof of their sons; but mothers 
have most discomfort of their ill proof, because women 
have little discerning of virtue, but of fortune. 

Qui celat delictum , qucerit amicitiam ; sed qui altero 
sermone repetii y separat feeder atos? Here caution is given, 
that reconcilement is better managed by an amnesty, and 
passing over that which is past, than by apologies and 

1 Prov. xxviii. 21. 

2 Editions 1629 an -d 1633 read highly, which is clearly inferior to 
lightly ; which is the reading of 1605. 

a Prov. xxviii. 3. 4 xxv. 26. * xxviii. 24. 

* xxii. 24. 7 xi. 29. 8 x. 1. » xvii. 9. 

Advancement of Learning 185 

In omni opere bono erit abundantia ; ubi autem verba sunt 
plurima, ibi frequenter egestas . 1 Here is noted, that words 
and discourse abound most where there is idleness and want. 

Primus in sua causa Justus ; sed venit altera pars , et 
inquiret in eum . 2 Here is observed, that in all causes the 
first tale possesseth much; in sort that the prejudice 
thereby wrought will be hardly removed, except some 
abuse or falsity in the information be detected. 

Verba bilinguis quasi simplicia, et ipsa perveniunt ad inte~ ■ 
riora ventris . 3 Here is distinguished, that flattery and 
insinuation, which seemeth set and artificial, sinketh not far; 
but that entereth deep which hath show of nature, liberty, 
and simplicity. 

Qui erudit derisorem t ipse sibi injuriam facit ; et qui 
arguit impium, sibi maculam generate Here caution is 
given how we tender reprehension to arrogant and scornful 
natures, whose manner is to esteem it for contumely, and 
accordingly to return it. 

Da sapienti occasionem } et addetur ei sapiential Here 
is distinguished the wisdom brought into habit, and that 
which is but verbal, and swimming only in conceit ; for the 
one upon occasion presented is quickened and redoubled, 
the other is amazed and confused. 

Quomodo in aquis resplendent vultus prospicientium, sic 
cor da hominum manifesta sunt prudentibus . 6 Here the 
mind of a wise man is compared to a glass, wherein the 
images of all diversity of natures and customs are re- 
presented; from which representation proceedeth that 

Qui sapit, inmimeris moribus aptus erit. 7 

Thus have I stayed somewhat longer upon these sen- 
tences politic of Salomon than is agreeable to the proportion 
of an example; led with a desire to give authority to this 
part of knowledge, which I noted as deficient, by so excel' 
lent a precedent ; and have also attended them with brief 
observations, such as to my understanding offer no violence 
to the sense, though I know they may be applied to a more 
divine use: but it is allowed, even in divinity, that some 
interpretations, yea, and some writings, have more of the 

1 p rov . x iv. 23. 2 xviii. 17. 

8 xviii. 8. 4 ix. 7. 6 ix. 9. 

6 X xvii. I9> 7 Ovid, de Art. Am. i. 760. 

1 8 6 


eagle than others ; 1 but taking them as instructions for life, 
they might have received large discourse, if I would have 
broken them and illustrated them by deducements and 

Neither was this in use only with the Hebrews, but it is 
generally to be found in the wisdom of the more ancient 
times; that as men found out any observation that they 
thought was good for life, they would gather it, and express 
it in parable, or aphorism, or fable. But for fables, they 
were vicegerents and supplies where examples failed: now 
that the times abound with history, the aim is better when 
the mark is alive. And therefore the form of writing which 
of all others is fittest for this variable argument of negotia- 
tion and occasions is that which Machiavel chose wisely 
and aptly for government ; namely, discourse upon histories 
or examples. For knowledge drawn freshly, and in our 
view, out of particulars, knoweth the way best to particulars 
again; and it hath much greater life for practice when 
the discourse attendeth upon the example, than when the 
example attendeth upon the discourse. For this is no 
point of order, as it seemeth at first, but of substance: for 
when the example is the ground, being set down in a his- 
tory at large, it is set down with all circumstances, which 
may sometimes control the discourse thereupon made, and 
sometimes supply it as a very pattern for action ; 2 whereas 
the examples alleged for the discourse’ sake are cited suc- 
cinctly, and without particularity, and carry a servile aspect 
towards the discourse which they are brought in to make 

But this difference is not amiss to be remembered, that as 
history of Times is the best ground for discourse of govern- 
ment, such as Machiavel handleth, so history of Lives is 
the most proper for discourse of business, as 3 more con- 
versant in private actions. Nay, there is a ground of 
discourse for this purpose fitter than them both, which is 
discourse upon letters, such as are wise and weighty, as 
many are of Cicero &(i- Atticu'yti, and others. For letters 
1 1-e. soar higher than others. 

1 Edition 1605 has gains — Mr. Spedding suggests aim — editions 
1629, 1633, have action. 

, a .\ 3 ave k? re * 0 ^°wed Mr. Spedding’s amendment of as for is 
which is no doubt correct, and far the best solution of the difficulty 
of the passage in the original. J 

Advancement of Learning 1 87 

have a great and more particular representation of business 
than either chronicles or lives. Thus have we spoken both 
of the matter and form of this part of civil knowledge, 
touching negotiation, which we note to be deficient. 

But yet there is another part of this part, which differeth 
as much from that whereof we have spoken as sapere and 
sibi sapere , the one moving as it were to the circumference, 
the other to the centre. For there is a wisdom of counsel, 
and again there is a wisdom of pressing a man’s own fortune ; 
and they do sometimes meet, and often sever. For many 
are wise in their own ways that are weak for government 
or counsel; like ants, which is a wise creature for itself, 
but very hurtful for the garden. This wisdom the Romans 
did take much knowledge of: Nam pol sapiens , saith the 
comical poet, fingit fortunam sibi ; 1 and it grew to an adage, 
Faber quisque fortunes proprice ; 2 and Livy attributed it to 
Cato the first, in hoe viro tanta vis animi et ingenii inerat, ut 
quocunque loco natus esset sibi ipse fortunam facturus 

This conceit or position, if it be too much declared and 
professed, hath been thought a thing impolitic and unlucky, 
as was observed in Timotheus the Athenian, who, having 
done many great services to the estate in his government, 
and giving an account thereof to the people, as the manner 
was, did conclude every particular with this clause, And in 
this fortune had no part . 4 And it came so to pass, that he 
never prospered in any thing he took in hand afterwards : 
for this is too high and too arrogant, savouring of that which 
Ezekiel saith of Pharaoh, Dicis , Fluvius est meus et ego feci 
memet ipsum : 5 or of that which another prophet speaketh, 
that men offer sacrifices to their nets and snares : 6 and that 
which the poet expresseth, 

Dextra mihi Dens, et telum quod missile libro, 

Nunc adsint! 7 

for these confidences were ever unhallowed, and unblessed: 
and therefore those that were great politiques indeed ever 
ascribed their successes to their felicity, and not to their 

1 Plaut. Trin. ii. 2, 48. 

2 1 have not met with this. It is attributed to Appius Claudius. 

* Liv. xxxix. 40. 4 Plutarch, Sylla , c. 6. 

5 Ezek. xxix. 3. 4 Habak. i. 16. 

7 Virg. Mn. x. 773. 

1 88 



|| | 

I: ' 



M , 


skill or virtue. For so Sylla surnamed himself Felix, not 
Magnus: so Cassar said to the master of the ship, Ccssarem 
port as et fortunam ejus. 1 

But yet nevertheless these positions, Faber quisque for- 
tunes sues : sapiens dominabitur astris ; 2 invia virtuti nulla 
est via , 3 and the like, being taken and used as spurs to 
industry, and not as stirrups to insolency, rather for resolu- 
tion than for presumption or outward declaration, have 
been ever thought sound and good; and are, no question, 
imprinted in the greatest minds, who are so sensible of this 
opinion, as they can scarce contain it within. As we see 
in Augustus Caesar, (who was rather diverse from his uncle, 
than inferior in virtue,) how when he died, he desired his 
friends about him to give him a plaudite , as if he were 
conscient to himself that he had played his part well upon 
the stage . 4 This part of knowledge we do report also as 
deficient : not but that it is practised too much, but it hath 
not been reduced to writing. And therefore lest it should 
seem to any that it is not comprehensible by axiom, it is 
requisite, as we did in the former, that we set down some 
heads or passages of it. 

Wherein it may appear at the first a new and unwonted 
argument to teach men how to raise and make their fortune ; 
a doctrine wherein every man perchance will be ready to 
yield himself a disciple, till he see the difficulty; for 
fortune layeth as heavy impositions as virtue; and it is as 
hard and severe a thing to be a true politique, as to be truly 
moral. But the handling hereof concerneth learning greatly, 
both in honour and in substance: in honour, because prag- 
matical men may not go away with an opinion that learning 
is like a lark, that can mount, and sing, and please herself, 
and nothing else; but may know that she holdeth as well 
of the hawk, that can soar aloft, and can also descend and 
strike upon the prey: in substance, because it is the perfect 
law of inquiry of truth, that nothing be in the globe of 
matter, which should not be likewise in the globe of crystal, 
or form; that is, that there be not any thing in being and 
action, which should not be drawn and collected into 

1 Plutarch, Ccesav. 

2 Mr. Spedding states that this quotation is ascribed by Coernatus 

to Ptolemy. ° 

3 Ovid. Met xiv. 113. * Sueton. Vit Aug. c. 99. 

Advancement of Learning 189 

contemplation and doctrine. Neither doth learning admire 
or esteem of this architecture of fortune, otherwise than as 
of an inferior work: for no man’s fortune can be an end 
worthy of his being; and many times the worthiest men do 
abandon their fortune willingly for better respects: but 
nevertheless fortune, as an organ of virtue and merit, 
deserveth the consideration. 

First, therefore, the precept which I conceive to be most 
summary towards the prevailing in fortune, is to obtain 
that window which Momus did require : 1 who seeing in the 
frame of man’s heart such angles and recesses, found fault 
that there was not a window to look into them; that is, to 
procure good informations of particulars touching persons, 
their natures, their desires and ends, their customs and 
fashions, their helps and advantages, and whereby they 
chiefly stand: so again their weaknesses and disadvantages, 
and where they lie most open and obnoxious ; their friends, 
factions, and dependencies; and again their opposites, 
enviers, competitors, their moods and times, 

Sola viri molles aditus et tempora noras ; 2 

their principles, rules, and observations, and the like : and 
this not only of persons, but of actions ; what are on foot 
from time to time, and how they are conducted, favoured, 
opposed, and how they import, and the like. For the 
knowledge of present actions is not only material in itself, 
I but without it also the knowledge of persons is very 
erroneous: for men change with the actions; and whiles 
they are in pursuit they are one, and when they return 
to their nature they are another. These informations of 
particulars, touching persons and actions, are as the minor 
propositions in every active syllogism; for no excellency 
of observations, which are as the major propositions, can 
suffice to ground a conclusion, if there be error and mis- 
^ taking in the minors. 

That this knowledge is possible, Salomon is our surety; 
who saith, Consilium in corde viri tanquam aqua profunda ; 
sed vir prudens exhauriet Mud. 3 And although the know- 
ledge itself falleth not under precept, because it is of indivi- 
duals, yet the instructions for the obtaining of it may. 

1 Lucian. Hermot. 20. 

2 Virg. Mn. iv. 423. 

8 Prov. xx. 5. 


We will begin, therefore, with this precept, according to 
the ancient opinion, that the sinews of wisdom are slowness 
of belief and distrust; that more trust be given to coun- 
tenances and deeds than to words: and in words rather 
to sudden passages and surprised words than to set and 
purposed words. Neither let that be feared which is said, 
Fronii nulla fides : 1 which is meant of a general outward 
behaviour, and not of the private and subtile motions and 
labours of the countenance and gesture; which as Q. Cicero 
elegantly saith, is Animi janua , the gate of the mindS None 
more close than Tiberius, and yet Tacitus saith of Gallus, 
Etenim vultu offensionem conjectaverat . 3 So again, noting 
the differing character and manner of his commending 
Germanicus and Drusus in the senate, he saith, touching 
his fashion wherein he carried his speech of Germanicus, 
thus; Magis in speciem adornatis verbis , quam ut penitus 
sentire crederetur : but of Drusus thus: Paucioribus , sed 
intentior , etfida oratione : 4 and in another place, speaking of 
his character of speech, when he did any thing that was 
gracious and popular, he saith, that in other things he was 
velut elueiantium verborum ; but then again, solutius vero 
loquebatur quando subveniretA So that there is no such 
artificer of dissimulation, nor no such commanded coun- 
tenance, vultus jussus } that can sever from a feigned tale 
some of these fashions, either a more slight and careless 
fashion, or more set and formal, or more tedious and 
wandering, or coming from a man more drily and hardly. 

Neither are deeds such assured pledges, as that they 
may be trusted without a judicious consideration of their 
magnitude and nature : Fraus sibi in parvis fidem prcestruit , 
ut majore emolumento fallat : 6 and the Italian thinketh 
himself upon the point to be bought and sold, when he is 
better used than he was wont to be, without manifest cause. 
For small favours, they do but lull men asleep, both as 
to caution and as to industry; and are, as Demosthenes 
calleth them, A limenta socordice, ‘ So again we see how 

1 J*v. Sat. ii. 8 . * De Petit. Consul, xi. 44 

8 Tacit. Ann . i. 12. * Ibid. i. 52. 

5 Ibid. iv. 31. « Liv. xxviii. 42. 

7 See Mr. Spedding’s note on the De Augm. Sc. (p. 681) where 
these words are quoted with context, and traced through H. Wolfs 
translation of Dem. Phil. i. — the Greek being simply «?<m rau-ra ra 
TTjv eK&crrov ppdv/ilav iirav^dvovra. 

Advancement of Learning igi 

false the nature of some deeds are, in that particular which 
Mutianus practised upon Antonius Primus, upon that hollow 
and unfaithful reconcilement which was made between 
them ; whereupon Mutianus advanced many of the friends 
of Antonius: simul amicis ejus prcefecturas et tribunatus 
largitur : 1 wherein, under pretence to strengthen him, he did 
desolate him, and won from him his dependences. 

As for words, though they be like waters to physicians, 
full of flattery and uncertainty, yet they are not to be de- 
spised, especially with the advantage of passion and affec- 
tion. For so we see Tiberius, upon a stinging and incensing 
speech of Agrippina, came a step forth of his dissimulation, 
when he said, You are hurt because you do not reign ; of 
which Tacitus saith, Audita hcec raram occulti pectoris vocem 
elicuere ; correptamque Grceco versu admonuit, ideo Icedi, quia 
non regnaret . 1 2 * * And therefore the poet doth elegantly call 
passions, tortures that urge men to confess their secrets: 

Vino tortus et ira. 8 

And experience showeth, there are few men so true to 
themselves and so settled, but that, sometimes upon heat, 
sometimes upon bravery, sometimes upon kindness, some- 
times upon trouble of mind and weakness, they open 
themselves; especially if they be put to it with a counter- 
dissimulation, according to the proverb of Spain, Di men - 
tira , y sacaras ver dad (Tell a lie and find a truth). 

As for the knowing of men which is at second hand from 
reports; men’s weaknesses and faults are best known from 
their enemies, their virtues and abilities from their friends, 
their customs and times from their servants, their conceits 
and opinions from their familiar friends, with whom they 
discourse most. General fame is light, and the opinions 
conceived by superiors or equals are deceitful ; for to such 
men are more masked: Verior fama e domesticis emanate 
But the soundest disclosing and expounding of men is 
by their natures and ends, wherein the weakest sort of men 
are best interpreted by their natures, and the wisest by 
their ends. For it was both pleasantly and wisely said, 

1 Tacit. Hist, iv, 39. 

2 Tacit. Ann. iv. 52; Suet. Vit. Tib. c. 53. 

8 Hor. Epist. 1. xviii. 38. 

* Q. Cic. De Petit . Consul, v. 17. 




though I think very untruly, by a nuncio of the pope, 
returning from a certain nation where he served as lidger; 
whose opinion being asked touching the appointment of 
one to go in his place, he wished that in any case they did 
not send one that was too wise; because no very wise man 
would ever imagine what they in that country were like 
to do. And certainly it is an error frequent for men to 
shoot over, and to suppose deeper ends and more compass- 
reaches than are: the Italian proverb being elegant, and 
for the most part true : — 

Di danari, di senno, e di fede, 

Ce ne manco che non credi. 

There is commonly less money, less wisdom, and less good 
faith than men do account upon. 

But princes, upon a far other reason, are best interpreted 
by their natures, and private persons by their ends. For 
princes being at the top of human desires, they have for 
the most part no particular ends whereto they aspire, by 
distance from which a man might take measure and scale 
of the rest of their actions and desires; which is one of the 
causes that maketh their hearts more inscrutable . 1 Neither 
is it sufficient to inform ourselves in men’s ends and natures, 
of the variety of them only, but also of the predominancy, 
what humour reigneth most, and what end is principally 
sought. For so we see, when Tigellinus saw himself out- 
stripped by Petronius Turpilianus in Nero’s humours of 
pleasures, metus ejus rimatur , 2 he wrought upon Nero’s 
fears, whereby he brake the other’s neck. 

But to all this part of inquiry the most compendious way 
resteth in three things : the first, to have general acquain- 
tance and inwardness with those which have general 
acquaintance and look most into the world; and especially 
according to the diversity of business, and the diversity of 
persons, to have privacy and conversation with some one 
friend at least which is perfect and well intelligenced in every 
several kind. The second is, to keep a good mediocrity in 
1 Prov. xxv. 3. 

„ 2 Tacit. Ann. xiv. 57. Mr. Markby notices that Tacitus speaks 
of the intrigues of Tigellinus against Plautus and Sulla, by which 
he induced Nero to have both of them murdered. Petronius Tur- 
pilianus was put to death by Galba, solely because he had enjoyed 
Nero’s confidence. Vid. Tacit. Hist. i. 6.” 

Advancement of Learning 193 

liberty of speech and secresy; in most things liberty; 
secresy where it importeth; for liberty of speech inviteth 
and provoketh liberty to be used again, and so bringeth 
much to a man's knowledge; and secresy, on the other 
side, induceth trust and inwardness. The last is, the 
reducing of a man's self to this watchful and serene habit, 
as to make account and purpose, in every conference and 
action, as well to observe as to act. For as Epictetus would 
have a philosopher in every particular action to say to 
himself, Et hoc volo, et etiam institutum servare, 1 so a politic 
man im everything should say to himself, Et hoc volo, ac 
etiam aliquid addiscere. I have stayed the longer upon 
this precept of obtaining good information, because it is a 
main part by itself, which answereth to all the rest. But, 
above all things, caution must be taken that men have a 
good stay and hold of themselves, and that this much 
knowledge do not draw on much meddling; for nothing 
is more unfortunate than light and rash intermeddling 
in many matters. So that this variety of knowledge 
tendeth in conclusion but only to this, to make a better and 
freer choice of those actions which may concern us, and to 
conduct them with the less error and the more dexterity. 

The second precept concerning this knowledge is, for 
men to take good information touching their own person, 
and well to understand themselves: knowing that, as 
St. James saith, though men look oft in a glass , 2 yet they 
do suddenly forget themselves; wherein as the divine glass 
is the word of God, so the politic glass is the state of the 
world, or times wherein we live, in the which we are to 
behold ourselves. 

For men ought to take an impartial view of their own 
abilities and virtues ; and again of their wants and impedi- 
ments; accounting these with the most, and those other 
with the least ; and from this view and examination to frame 
the considerations following. 

First, to consider how the constitution of their nature 
sorteth with the general state of the times; which if they 
find agreeable and fit, then in all things to give themselves 
more scope and liberty; but if differing and dissonant, then 

1 Vid. Epictet. Enchir. c. 4 . — (Xovcracrdcu) /cat ttjv 4/j.avrov 

irpoalpecuv icark (pticriv ^%oucrav rTyp^crat. 

3 St. James i. 23, 24. 




in the whole course of their life to be more close, retired, and 
reserved: as we see in Tiberius, who was never seen at a 
play, and came not into the Senate in twelve of his last 
years; whereas Augustus Caesar lived ever in men's eyes, 
which Tacitus observeth, alia Tiberio morum via . 1 

Secondly, to consider how their nature sorteth with 
professions and courses of life, and accordingly to make 
election, if they be free; and, if engaged, to make the 
departure at the first opportunity: as we see was done by 
Duke Valentine , 2 that was designed by his father to a 
sacerdotal profession, but quitted it soon after in regard of 
his parts and inclination; being such, nevertheless, as a 
man cannot tell well whether they were worse for a prince 
or for a priest. 

Thirdly, to consider how they sort with those whom they 
are like to have competitors and concurrents; and to take 
that course wherein there is most solitude, and themselves 
like to be most eminent : as Caesar Julius did, who at first 
was an orator or pleader; but when he saw the excellency 
of Cicero, Hortensius, Catulus, and others, for eloquence, 
and saw there was no man of reputation for the wars but 
Pompeius, upon whom the state was forced to rely, he 
forsook his course begun towards a civil and popular great- 
ness and transferred his designs to a martial greatness. 

Fourthly, in the choice of their friends and dependences, 
to proceed according to the composition of their own nature : 
as we may see in Caesar; all whose friends and followers 
were men active and effectual, but not solemn, or of 

Fifthly, to take special heed how they guide themselves 
by examples, in thinking they can do as they see others do; 
whereas perhaps their natures and carriages are far differing. 
In which error it seemeth Pompey was, of whom Cicero 
saith, that he was wont often to say, Sylla potuit — ego non 
potero ? 3 Wherein he was much abused, the natures and 
proceedings of himself and his example being the unlikest 
in the world; the one being fierce, violent, and pressing the 
fact; the other solemn, and full of majesty and circum- 
stance, and therefore the less effectual. 

1 Tac. Ann. i. 54. 

2 Sc. Caesar Borgia, son of Alexander VI. See Guicciardini, vi. 3. 
* Cic. ad Att. ix. 10. 

Advancement of Learning 195 

But this precept touching the politic knowledge of our- 
selves, hath many other branches, whereupon we cannot 

Next to the well understanding and discerning of a man’s 
self, there followeth the well opening and revealing a man’s 
self; wherein we see nothing more usual than for the more 
able man to make the less show. For there is a great 
advantage in the well setting forth of a man’s virtues, 
fortunes, merits; and again, in the artificial covering of a 
man’s weaknesses, defects, disgraces; staying upon the 
one, sliding from the other; cherishing the one by circum- 
stances, gracing the other by exposition, and the like: 
wherein we see what Tacitus saith of Mutianus, who was the 
greatest politique of his time, Omnium qua dixerat fecerat- 
que arte quadam ostentator : 1 which requireth indeed some 
art, lest it turn tedious and arrogant; but yet so as ostenta- 
tion, though it be to the first degree of vanity, seemeth to 
me rather a vice in manners than in policy: for as it is said, 
Audader calumniare, semper aliquid hceret : 2 so, except it 
be in a ridiculous degree of deformity, Audader te vendita, 
semper aliquid hceret. For it will stick with the more 
ignorant and inferior sort of men, though men of wisdom 
and rank do smile at it, and despise it; and yet the 
authority won with many doth countervail the disdain 
of a few. But if it be carried with decency and govern- 
ment, as with a natural, pleasant, and ingenious fashion; 
or at times when it is mixed with some peril and unsafety’ 
as in military persons; or at times when others are most 
envied; or with easy and careless passage to it and from it, 
without dwelling too long, or being too serious; or with an 
equal freedom of taxing a man’s self, as well as gracing 
himself; or by occasion of repelling or putt ng down others’ 
injury or insolence; it doth greatly add to reputation: 
and surely not a few solid natures, that want this ventosity, 
and cannot fail in the height of the winds, are not without 
some prejudice and disadvantage by their moderation. 

But for these flourishes and enhancements of virtue, as 
they are not perchance unnecessary, so it is at least neces- 

1 Tacit. Hist. ii. 80. 

2 Mr. Spedding considers that this comes from the advice given 
by Medius to Alexander’s sycophants.— Plutarch, Quomodo guis 
discernere, etc., c. 2 a. 



sary that virtue be not disvalued and imbased under the 
just price; which is done in three manners: by offering 
and obtruding a man's self; wherein men think he is 
rewarded when he is accepted; by doing too much, which 
will not give that which is well done leave to settle, and in 
the end induceth satiety; and by finding too soon the fruit 
of a man's virtue, in commendation, applause, honour, 
favour; wherein if a man be pleased with a little, let him 
hear what is truly said: Cave ne insuetus rebus majoribus 
videaris, si hcec te res parva sicuti magna delect at} 

But the covering of defects is of no less importance than 
the valuing of good parts; which may be done likewise in 
three manners, by caution , by colour , and by confidence . 
Caution is when men do ingeniously and discreetly avoid 
to be put into those things for which they are not proper: 
whereas, contrariwise, bold and unquiet spirits will thrust 
themselves into matters without difference, and so publish 
and proclaim all their wants. Colour is, when men make a 
way for themselves, to have a construction made of their 
faults or wants, as proceeding from a better cause, or 
intended for some other purpose: for of the one it is well 

Ssepe latet vitium proximitate boni,® 

and therefore whatsoever want a man hath, he must see 
that he pretend the virtue that shadoweth it ; as if he be 
dull, he must affect gravity; if a coward, mildness; and so 
the rest: for the second, a man must frame some probable 
cause why he should not do his best, and why he should 
dissemble his abilities; and for that purpose must use to 
dissemble those abilities which are notorious in him, to 
give colour that his true wants are but industries and 
dissimulations. For confidence , it is the last 3 but surest 
remedy; namely, to depress and seem to despise whatso- 
ever a man cannot attain; observing the good principle 
of the merchants, who endeavour to raise the price of their 
own commodities, and to beat down the price of others. 
But there is a confidence that passeth this other; which is, 
to face out a man's own defects, in seeming to conceive that 

1 Cic. ad Beren. iv. 4. 1 Ovid, Art Am. ii. 662. 

3 i.e. the last which should be made use of; ** impudens certe est 
rremedium, sed tamen, etc.” 

Advancement of Learning 1 97 

he is best in those things wherein he is failing; and, to 
help that again, to seem on the other side that he hath 
least opinion of himself in those things wherein he is best : 
like as we shall see it commonly in poets, that if they show 
their verses, and you except to any, they will say, that that 
line cost them more labour than any of the rest / and presently 
will seem to disable and suspect rather some other line, 
which they know well enough to be the best in the number. 
But above all, in this righting and helping of a man's self 
in his own carriage, he must take heed he show not himself 
dismantled, and exposed to scorn and injury, by too much 
dulceness, goodness, and facility of nature; but show some 
sparkles of liberty, spirit, and edge. Which kind of forti- 
fied carriage, with a ready rescuing of a man's self from 
scorns, is sometimes of necessity imposed upon men by 
somewhat in their person or fortune ; but it ever succeedeth 
with good felicity. 

Another precept of this knowledge is, by all possible 
endeavour to frame the mind to be pliant and obedient to 
occasion ; for nothing hindereth men's fortunes so much as 
this: Idem manebat, neque idem decebat , 1 men are where 
they were, when occasions turn: and therefore to Cato, 
whom Livy maketh such an architect of fortune, he addeth, 
that he had versatile ingenium . 2 And thereof it cometh that 
these grave solemn wits, which must be like themselves, and 
cannot make departures, have more dignity than felicity. 
But in some it is nature to be somewhat viscous and in- 
wrapped, and not easy to turn ; in some it is a conceit, that 
is almost a nature, which is, that men can hardly make 
themselves believe that they ought to change their course, 
when they have found good by it in former experience. 
For Machiavel noted wisely, how Fabius Maximus would 
have been temporizing still, according to his old bias, when 
the nature of the war was altered and required hot pursuit . 3 
In some other it is want of point and penetration in their 
judgment, that they do not discern when things have a 
period, but come in too late after the occasion ; as Demos- 
thenes 4 compareth the people of Athens to country fellows, 
when they play in a fence school, that if they have a blow, 
then they remove their weapon to that ward, and not before. 

1 Cic. Brut. 95 (327). 2 Livy, xxxix. 40. 

®Mach. Discorsi sopra Livio, iii. 9. 4 Demosth. Phil. i. 51. 

0 719 



In some other it is a lothness to leese labours passed, and a 
conceit that they can bring about occasions to their ply; 
and yet in the end, when they see no other remedy, then 
they come to it with disadvantage; as Tarquinius, that 
gave for the third part of Sibylla's books the treble price , 1 
when he might at first have had all three for the simple. 
But from whatsoever root or cause this restiveness of mind 
proceedeth, it is a thing most prejudicial; and nothing is 
more politic than to make the wheels of our mind concentric 
and voluble with the wheels of fortune. 

Another precept of this knowledge, which hath some 
affinity with that we last spake of, but with difference, is 
that which is well expressed, Fatis accede Deisque 2 * that 
men do not only turn with the occasions, but also run with 
the occasions, and not strain their credit or strength to 
over hard or extreme points; but choose in their actions 
that which is most passable : for this will preserve men from 
foil, not occupy them too much about one matter, win 
opinion of moderation, please the most, and make a show 
. of a perpetual felicity in all they undertake; which cannot 

|j| but mightily increase reputation. 

Another part of this knowledge seemeth to have some 
repugnancy with the former two, but not as I understand 
it ; and it is that which Demosthenes uttereth in high terms ; 
Et quemadmodum receptum est , ut exercitum ducat imperator , 
sic et a cordatis viris res ipsce ducendce ; ut quce ipsis videntur , 
ea gerantur , et non ip si eventus tantum persequi cogantur? 
For, if we observe, we shall find two differing kinds of 
sufficiency in managing of business; some can make use 
of occasions aptly and dexterously, but plot little; some 
can urge and pursue their own plots well, but cannot 
accommodate nor take in ; 4 * either of which is very imperfect 
without the other. 

Another part of this knowledge is the observing a good 
mediocrity in the declaring, or not declaring a man's self : 
for although depth of secrecy, and making way, qualis est 
via navis in mar ip (which the French calleth sourdes menees , 

1 For the same price, according to the Legend, Aul. Gell. i. 19. 

2 Lucan, viii. 486. 8 Demosth. Phil. i. 51. 

* Explained by the Latin “ qui occasiones quae opportune in- 

cidunt non arripiunt.” 

1 Prov. xxx. 19. 

Advancement of Learning 199 

when men set things in work without opening themselves 
at all,) be sometimes both prosperous and admirable ; yet 
many times dissimulatio errores parit, qui dissimulator em 
ipsum illaqueant ; and therefore, we see the greatest 
politiques have in a natural and free manner professed their 
desires, rather than been reserved and disguised in them. 
For so we see that Lucius Sylla made a kind of profession, 
that he wished all men happy or unhappy, as they stood his 
friends or enemies . So Caesar, when he went first into Gaul, 
made no scruple to profess that he had rather be first in a 
village, than second at Rome . 1 * So again, as soon as he had 
begun the war, we see what Cicero saith of him, Alter (mean- 
ing of Caesar) non recusat, sed quodammodo postulat, ut, ut 
est, sic appelletur tyrannusA So we may see in a letter of 
Cicero to Atticus, that Augustus Caesar, in his very entrance 
into affairs, when he was a darling of the senate, yet in his 
harangues to the people would swear, Ita parentis honores 
consequi liceat , 3 which was no less than the tyranny; save 
that, to help it, he would stretch forth his hand towards 
a statua of Caesar's that was erected in the place : and 4 
men laughed, and wondered, and said, Is it possible ? or, 
Did you ever hear the like ? and yet thought he meant no 
hurt; he did it so handsomely and ingenuously. And 
all these were prosperous: whereas Pompey, who tended 
to the same end, but in a more dark and dissembling 
manner, as Tacitus saith of him, Occultior , non meliorf 
wherein Sallust concurreth, ore probo, animo inverecundop 
made it his design, by infinite secret engines, to cast the 
state into an absolute anarchy and confusion, that the state 
might cast itself into his arms for necessity and protection, 
and so the sovereign power be put upon him, and he never 
seen in it : and when he had brought it, as he thought, to 
that point, when he was chosen consul alone, as never any 
was, yet he could make no great matter of it, because men 
understood him not; but was fain, in the end, to go the 
beaten track of getting arms into his hands, by colour of the 
doubt of Caesar's designs: so tedious, casual, and unfor- 
tunate are these deep dissimulations: whereof it seemeth 

1 Plutarch, Apophthegms. 2 Cic. ad Att. x. 4, 2, 

3 Ad Att. xvi. 15, 3. 

4 I follow edition 1605 in this passage. 

5 Tacit. Hist. ii. 38. 6 [Sueton] de Clar. Gram. § xv. 

200 Bacon 

Tacitus made his judgment, that they were a cunning of 
an inferior form in regard of true policy; attributing the 
one to Augustus, the other to Tiberius; where speaking 
of Livia, he saith, Et cum artibus mariti simulatione filii 
bene composite/, : 1 for surely the continual habit of dissimula- 
tion is but a weak and sluggish cunning, and not greatly 

Another precept of this architecture of fortune is, to 
accustom our minds to judge of the proportion or value 
of things, as they conduce and are material to our particular 
ends: and that to do substantially, and not superficially. 
For we shall find the logical part, as I may term it, of some 
men's minds good, but the mathematical part erroneous; 
that is, they can well judge of consequences, but not of 
proportions and comparisons, preferring things of show 
and sense before things of substance and effect. So some 
fall in love with access to princes, others with popular fame 
and applause, supposing they are things of great purchase: 
when in many cases they are but matters of envy, peril, 
and impediment. So some measure things according to 
the labour and difficulty, or assiduity, which are spent 
about them; and think, if they be ever moving, that they 
must needs advance and proceed; as Caesar saith in a 
despising manner of Cato the second, when he describeth 
how laborious and indefatigable he was to no great purpose; 
Hcec omnia magno studio agebat . 2 So in most things men 
are ready to abuse themselves in thinking the greatest 
means to be best, when it should be the fittest. 

As for the true marshalling of men's pursuits towards 
their fortune, as they are more or less material, I hold them 
to stand thus: first the amendment of their own minds. 
For the remove of the impediments of the mind will sooner 
clear the passages of fortune, than the obtaining fortune 
will remove the impediments of the mind. In the second 
place, I set down wealth and means; which I know most 
men would have placed first, because of the general use 
which it beareth towards all variety of occasions. But 
that opinion I may condemn with like reason as Machiavel 3 
doth that other, that moneys were the sinews of the wars; 
whereas, saith he, the true sinews of the wars are the sinews 

1 Tacit. Annal. v. I. 2 Caes. de Bell. Civ. i. 30. 

8 Machiav. Disc. sopr. Liv. ii. 10. 


Advancement of Learning 

of men's arms, that is, a valiant, populous, and military 
nation: and he voucheth aptly t^^authority of Solon, 
who, when Croesus showed himjfns ^iisury of . gold, said 
to him, that if another came thatjhad better irqrr; he would 
be master of his gold. In li^ ifnanner it may .be truly 
affirmed, that it is not moneys that are the sinews of fortune, 
but it is the sinews and steel of meh'& minds, wit; courage, 
audacity, resolution, temper, industry tbATike. In \ 

the third place I set down repu&ffon; because of the 
peremptory tides and currents it hath; which, if they be \ 

not taken in their due time, are seldom recovered, it being 
extreme hard to play an after game of reputation. And 
lastly, I place honour, which is more easily won by any of 
the other three, much more by all, than any of them can be 
purchased by honour. To conclude this precept, as there 
is order and priority in matter, so is there in time, the pre- 
posterous placing whereof is one of the commonest errors : I 

while men fly to their ends when they should intend their I 

beginnings, and do not take things in order of time as they I 

come on, but marshal them according to greatness, and not I 

according to instance; not observing the good precept, I 

Quod nunc instat agamus. 1 I 

Another precept of this knowledge is not to embrace any 1 

matters which do occupy too great a quantity of time, but 
to haye that sounding in a man's ears, I 

Sed fugit interea, fugit irreparabile tempus: 2 £ 

■ j| 

and that is the cause why those which take their course of I 

rising by professions of burden, as lawyers, orators, painful I 

divines, and the like, are not commonly so politic for their I 

own fortune, otherwise than in their ordinary way, because 1 

they want time to learn particulars, to wait occasions, and 
to devise plots. i 

Another precept of this knowledge is, to imitate nature, 
which doth nothing in vain; which surely a man may do 
if he do well interlace his business, and bend not his mind 
too much upon that which he principally intendeth. For 
a man ought in every particular action so to carry the 
motions of his mind, and so to have one thing under another, 
as if he cannot have that he seeketh in the best degree, yet 
to have it in a second, or so in a third; and if he can have 1 

1 Virg. Eel. ix. 66. . 2 lb. Georg, iii. 284. 

202 Bacon 

no part of that which he purposed, yet to turn the use of it 
to somewhat else; and if he cannot make anything of it for 
the present, yet to make it as a seed of somewhat in time 
to come; and if he can contrive no effect or substance from 
it, yet to win some good opinion by it, or the like. So that 
he should exact an account of himself of every action, to 
reap somewhat, and not to stand amazed and confused if 
he fail of that he chiefly meant: for nothing is more im- 
politic than to mind actions wholly one by one. For he 
that doth so leeseth infinite occasions which intervene, and 
are many times more proper and propitious for somewhat 
that he s hall need afterwards, than for that which he urgeth 
for the present; and therefore men must be perfect in that 
rule, Hcec oportet facere, et ilia, non omittere . 1 

Another precept of this knowledge is, not to engage a 
man’s self peremptorily in anything, though it seem not 
liable to accident; but ever to have a window to fly out at, 
or a way to retire: following the wisdom in the ancient 
fable of the two frogs, which consulted when their plash 
was dry whither they should go; and the one moved to go 
down into a pit, because it was not likely the water would 
dry there; but the other answered, True, but if it do, how 
shall we get out again ? 

Another precept of this knowledge is, that ancient pre- 
cept of Bias, construed not to any point of perfidiousness, 
but only to caution and moderation, Et ama tanquam 
inimicus futurus, et odi tanquam amalurus ; 2 for it utterly 
betrayeth all utility for men to embark themselves too far 
in unfortunate friendships, troublesome spleens, and childish 
and humorous envies or emulations. 

But I continue this beyond the measure of an example; 
lfed, because I would not have such knowledges, which I 
note as deficient, to be thought things imaginative or in 
the air, or an observation or two much made of, but things 
of bulk and mass, whereof an end is hardlier made than a 
beginning. It must be likewise conceived, that in these 
points which I mention and set down, they are far from 
complete tractates of them, but only as small pieces for 
patterns. And lastly, no man, I suppose, will think that 
I mean fortunes are not obtained without all this ado ; for 
I know they come tumbling into some men’s laps; and a 
1 Matth. xxiii. 23. 2 Aristot. Rhet . ii. 13, 4. 

Advancement of Learning 203 

number obtain good fortunes by diligence in a plain way, 
little intermeddling, and keeping themselves from gross 

But as Cicero, when he setteth down an idea of a perfect 
orator, doth not mean that every pleader should be such; 
and so likewise, when a prince or a courtier hath been 
described by such as have handled those subjects, the 
mould hath used to be made according to the perfection 
of the art, and not according to common practice: so I 
understand it, that it ought to be done in the description 
of a politic man, I mean politic for his own fortune. 

But it must be remembered all this while, that the 
precepts which we have set down are of that kind which 
may be counted and called Bonce Artes . As for evil arts, 
if a man would set down for himself that principle of 
Machiavel , 1 that a man seek not to attain virtue itself, hut the 
appearance only thereof ; because the credit of virtue is a 
help , but the use of it is cumber : or that other of his 
principles, that he presuppose, that men are not fitly to be 
wrought otherwise but by fear ; and therefore that he seek to 
have every man obnoxious, low , and in strait, which the 
Italians call seminar spine , to sow thorns : or that other 
principle, contained in the verse which Cicero citeth, 
Cadant amici , dummodo inimici intercidant 2 * as the trium- 
virs, which sold, every one to other, the lives of their 
friends for the deaths of their enemies : or that other pro- 
testation of L. Catilina, to set on fire and trouble states, to 
the end to fish in droumy waters, and to unwrap their 
fortunes, Ego si quid in fortunis meis excitatum sit incendium , 
id non aqua sed ruina restinguam : s or that other principle 
of Lysander, that children are to be deceived with comfits, and 
men with oaths : 4 and the like evil and corrupt positions, 
whereof, as in all things, there are more in number than of 
the good: certainly with these dispensations from the laws 
of charity and integrity, the pressing of a man's fortune 
may be more hasty and compendious. But it is in life as 
it is in ways, the shortest way is commonly the foulest, 
and surely the fairer way is not much about. 

1 Prince, c. 17, 18. 2 Pro Reg. Deiot. ix. 25. 

3 Cic. pro Mur. xxv. (51). 

4 Plut. Lys. — robs fj*kv ira ? 5 as aorTpayakois, rsus §£ tivdpas 6pK0ts 




But men, if they be in their own power, and do bear and 
sustain themselves, and be not carried away with a whirl- 
wind or tempest of ambition, ought, in the pursuit of their 
own fortune, to set before their eyes not only that general 
map of the world, that all things are vanity and vexation of 
spirit , 1 but many other more particular cards and direc- 
tions: chiefly that— that being without wellbeing is a curse 
—and the greater being the greater curse; and that all 
virtue is most rewarded, and all wickedness most punished 
in itself: according as the poet saith excellently: 

Quas vobis, quae digna, viri, pro laudibus istis 
Praemia posse rear solvi ? pulcherrima primum 
Di Moresque dabunt vestri. 2 * 

And so of the contrary. And, secondly, they ought to 
look up to the eternal providence and divine judgment, 
which often subverteth the wisdom of evil plots and 
imaginations, according to that Scripture, He hath conceived 
mischief * and shall bring forth a vain thing? And although 
men should refrain themselves from injury and evil arts, 
yet this incessant and Sabbathless pursuit of a man's 
fortune leaveth not the tribute which we owe to God of our 
time; who we see demandeth a tenth of our substance, and 
a seventh, which is more strict, of our time: and it is to 
small purpose to have an erected face towards heaven, and 
a perpetual grovelling spirit upon earth, eating dust, as 
doth the serpent, 

Atque affigit humo divinae particulam auras. 4 

And if any man flatter himself that he will employ his 
fortune well, though he should obtain it ill, as was said 
concerning Augustus Caesar, and after of Septimius Severus, 
that either they should never have been born , or else they 
should never have died? they did so much mischief in the 
pursuit and ascent of their greatness, and so much good 
when they were established ; yet these compensations and 
satisfactions are good to be used, but never good to be 
purposed. And lastly, it is not amiss for men in their 

1 Eccl. ii. 11. 2 Virg. Mn. ix. 252. 

a Job xv. 35. 4 Hor. Sat. ii. 2, 79. 

5 Aurel. Victor, Epit. i. for Augustus; for Severus, see his life by 


Advancement of Learning 205 

race toward their fortune, to cool themselves a little with 
that conceit which is elegantly expressed by the Emperor 
Charles the Fifth, in his instructions to the king his son, 
That fortune hath somewhat of the nature of a woman , that 
if she be too much wooed , she is the farther off . 1 2 But this last 
is but a remedy for those whose tastes are corrupted: let 
men rather build upon that foundation which is a corner- 
stone of divinity and philosophy, wherein they join close, 
namely, that same Primum queer He. For divinity saith, 
Primum queerite regnum Dei , et ista omnia adjicientur 
vobis : 2 and philosophy saith, Primum queerite bona animi ; 
ceetera aut aderunt , aut non oberunt. And although the 
human foundation hath somewhat of the sands , 3 as we 
see in M. Brutus, when he brake forth into that speech, 

Te colui, Virtus, ut rem ; at tu nomen inane es ; 4 

yet the divine foundation is upon the rock. But this may 
serve for a taste of that knowledge which I noted as 

Concerning Government , 5 6 * it is a part of knowledge 
secret and retired, in both these respects in which things 
are deemed secret ; for some things are secret because they 
are hard to know, and some because they are not fit to 
utter. We see all governments are obscure and invisible: 

Totamque infusa per artus 
Mens agitat molem, et magno se corpore miscet. 8 

Such is the description of governments. We see the 
government of God over the world is hidden, inasmuch 
as it seemeth to participate of much irregularity and con- 
fusion : the government of the soul in moving the body is 
inward and profound, and the passages thereof hardly to be 
reduced to demonstration. Again, the wisdom of antiquity, 

1 See Ellis and Spedding on this in the De Augm. bk. viii. 2. 

2 Matth. vi. 33. 

3 So editions 1629, 1633; edition 1605 has same. 

4 S> rXijjxov apery, \6yos tip’ tfcrO*, £y<b <re, 
tbs ’ipyov fjffKOvv' 5 ’ dp * idotiXevvs rtixy- 

Dio. Cass, xlvii. 49. 

6 This upon Government is very differently given in the Latin; 
the main subject is postponed; and two desiderata are discussed — 

the question of Enlarging an Empire, and that of Universal Justice. 

8 Virg. JEn. vi. 72 6. 



(the shadows whereof are in the poets,) in the description 
of torments and pains, next unto the crime of rebellion, 
which was the giants' offence, doth detest the offence of 
futility, as in Sisyphus and Tantalus . 1 But this was meant 
of particulars: nevertheless even unto the general rules 
and discourses of policy and government there is due a 
BfH j reverent and reserved handling. 

But contrariwise, in the governors toward the governed, 
all things ought, as far as the frailty of man permitteth, 
to be manifest and revealed. For so it is expressed in the 
Scriptures touching the government of God, that this 
j globe, which seemeth to us a dark and shady body, is in 

j the view of God as crystal: Et in conspectu sedis tanquam 

j mare vitreum simile crystallo . 2 So unto princes and states, 

especially towards wise senates and councils, the natures 
^ and dispositions of the people, their conditions and necessi- 
ties, their factions and combinations, their animosities 
and discontents, ought to be, in regard of the variety of 
: | their intelligences, the wisdom of their observations, and 

III the height of their station where they keep sentinel, in 

great part clear and transparent. Wherefore, consider- 
ing that I write to a King that is a master of this science, 
and is so well assisted, I think it decent to pass over this 
part in silence,, as willing to obtain the certificate which 
one of the ancient philosophers aspired unto; who being 
silent, when others contended to make demonstration of 
their abilities by speech, desired it might be certified for 
his part, that there was one that knew how to hold his peace. 

Notwithstanding, for the more public part of government, . 
which is laws, I think good to note only one deficiency; 
which is, that all those which have written of laws, have 
written either as philosophers or as lawyers, and none as 
statesmen. As for the philosophers, they make imaginary 
laws for imaginary commonwealths; and their discourses 
are as the stars, which give little light, because they are so 
high. For the lawyers, they write according to the states 
where they live, what is received law, and not what ought 
to be law: for the wisdom of a lawmaker is one, and of a 
lawyer is another. For there are in nature certain foun- 
tains of justice, whence all civil laws are derived but as 
streams: and like as waters do take tinctures and tastes 
1 Vid. Pind. 01. i. 55. 2 Rev. iv. 6. 

Advancement of Learning 207 

from the soils through which they run, so do civil laws 
vary according to the regions and governments where they 
are planted, though they proceed from the same fountains. 
Again, the wisdom of a lawmaker consisteth not only in a 
platform of justice, but in the application thereof ; taking 
into consideration by what means laws may be made 
certain, and what are the causes and remedies of the 
doubtfulness and incertainty of law; by what means laws 
may be made apt and easy to be executed, and what are 
the impediments and remedies in the execution of laws; 
what influence laws touching private right of meum and 
timm have into the public state, and how they may be made 
apt and agreeable ; how laws are to be penned and delivered, 
whether in texts or in acts , brief or large, with preambles, or 
without; how they are to be pruned and reformed from 
time to time, and what is the best means to keep them from 
being too vast in volumes, or too full of multiplicity and 
crossness; how they are to be expounded, when upon 
causes emergent and judicially discussed, and when upon 
responses and conferences touching general points or 
questions; how they are to be pressed, rigorously or 
tenderly; how they are to be mitigated by equity and good 
conscience, and whether discretion and strict law are to be 
mingled in the same courts, or kept apart in several courts; 
again, how the practice, profession, and erudition of law 
is to be censured and governed; and many other points 
touching the administration, and, as I may term it, anima- 
tion of laws. Upon which I insist the less, because I 
purpose, if God give me leave, (having begun a work of this 
nature in aphorisms,) to propound it hereafter, noting it 
in the meantime for deficient. 

And for your Majesty's laws of England, I could say much 
of their dignity, and somewhat of their defect; but they 
cannot but excel the civil laws in fitness for the govern- 
ment: for the civil law was non hos qucesitum munus in 
usus ; 1 it was not made for the countries which it go verneth : 
hereof I cease to speak because I will not intermingle 
matter of action with matter of general learning. 

1 Virg. Mn. iv. 647. 








208 Bacon 

Thus have I concluded this portion of learning touching 
knowledge, and with civil knowledge have concluded 
human philosophy; and with human philosophy, philo- 
sophy in general. And being now at some pause, looking 
back into that I have passed through, this writing seemeth 
to me, si nunquam fallit imago , 1 (as far as a man can judge 
of his own work,) not much better than that noise or 
sound which musicians make while they are tuning their 
instruments: which is nothing pleasant to hear, but yet is 
a cause why the music is sweeter afterwards: so have I 
been content to tune the instruments of the Muses, that they 
may play that have better hands. And surely, when I set 
before me the condition of these times, in which learning 
hath made her third visitation or circuit in all the qualities 
thereof— as the excellency and vivacity of the wits of this 
age; the noble helps and lights which we have by the 
travails of ancient writers; the art of printing, which 
commumcateth books to men of all fortunes; the openness 
of the world by navigation, which hath disclosed multi- 
tudes of experiments, and a mass of natural history the 
leisure wherewith these times abound, not employing men 
so generally m civil business, as the states of Gracia did 
in respect of their popularity, and the state of Rome, in 
respect of the greatness of their monarchy; the present 
disposition of these times at this instant to peace- the 
consumption of all that ever can be said in controversies 
of .religion, which have so much diverted men from other 
sciences; the perfection of your Majesty’s learning, which 
as a Phcemx may call whole vollies of wits to follow you- 
and the inseparable propriety of time, which is ever more 
and more to disclose truth— I cannot but be raised to this 
persuasion that this third period of time will far surpass 
of the Grecian and Roman learning: only if men will 
their own strength, and their own weakness both' 
take one from the other, light of invention, and not 
of contradiction; and esteem of the inquisition of truth 

^, er ? nSe ’/ nd not , as of a quality or ornament; 
mploy wit and magnificence to things of worth and 
«ceJlenCT and not to things vulgar and of popular estima- 

or Otw S r +T y ab0 Y S ’ 1 an y m an shall please himself 
or others m the reprehension of them, they shall make 

1 Virg, Eel. ii. 27. 






Advancement of Learning 209 

that ancient and patient request, Verhera , sed audi ; l let 
men reprehend them, so they observe and weigh them: 
for the appeal is lawful, though it may be it shall not be 
needful, from the first cogitations of men to their second, 
and from the nearer times to the times farther off. Now 
let us come to that learning, which both the former times 
were not so blessed as to know, sacred and inspired divinity, 
the Sabbath and port of all men's labours and peregrinations. 

The prerogative of God extendeth as well to the reason as 
j to the will of man ; so that as we are to obey His law, though 

; we find a reluctation in our will, so we are to believe His 

word, though we find a reluctation in our reason. For if we 
believe only that which is agreeable to our sense, we give 
consent to the matter, and not to the author; which is no 
more than we would do towards a suspected and discredited 
X witness; but that faith which was accounted to Abraham 
for righteousness was of such a point as whereat Sarah 
laughed , 2 who therein was an image of natural reason. 

Howbeit, if we will truly consider it, more worthy it is 
to believe than to know as we now know. For in know- 
ledge man's mind suffereth from sense; but in belief it 
suffereth from spirit, such one as it holdeth for more 
authorized than itself, and so suffereth from the worthier 
< agent. Otherwise it is of the state of man glorified; for 

| then faith shall cease, and we shall know as we are known. 

I Wherefore we conclude that sacred theology, (which in 

! our idiom we call divinity,) is grounded only upon the word 

I and oracle of God, and not upon the light of nature: for 

it is written, Cceli enarrant gloriam Dei ; 3 but it is not written, 
Cceli enarrant voluntatem Dei : but of that it is said. Ad 
legem et testimonium : si non fecerint secundum verbum 
istud* etc. This holdeth not only in those points of faith 
* which concern the mysteries of the Deity, of the Creation, 
of the Redemption, but likewise those which concern the 
moral law truly interpreted: Love your enemies : do good 
to them that hate you ; be like to your heavenly Father , that 

1 Themistocles to Eurybiades, Plut. Reg. et Imper. Apop . — 
Tarai-ov fxh 0 $ v, &kov<?ov di. 

1 Vid. Gen. xviii. * Ps. xix. 1. 




4 Isai. viii. 20. 



suffereth Ms rain to fall upon the just and unjust . 1 To this 
it ought to be applauded, nec vox hominem sonat : 2 it is a 
voice beyond the light of nature. So we see the heathen 
poets, when they fall upon a libertine passion, do still 
expostulate with laws and moralities, as if they were 
opposite and malignant to nature; 

Et quod natura remittit, 

Invida jura negant. 3 

So said Dendamis the Indian unto Alexander's messengers, 
That he had heard somewhat of Pythagoras , and some other 
of the wise men of Grcecia , and that he held them for excellent 
men : but that they had a fault, which was that they had in too 
great reverence and veneration a thing which they called law 
and manners . 4 So it must be confessed, that a great part 
of the law moral is of that perfection, whereunto the fight 
of nature cannot aspire: how then is it that man is said to 
have, by the light and law of nature, some notions and 
conceits of virtue and vice, justice and wrong, good and 
evil? Thus, because the fight of nature is used in two 
several senses; the one, that which springeth from reason, 
sense, induction, argument, according to the laws of heaven 
and earth; the other, that which is imprinted upon the 
spirit of man by an inward instinct, according to the law 
of conscience, which is a sparkle of the purity of his first 
estate; in which latter sense only he is participant of some 
light and discerning touching the perfection of the moral 
law: but how? sufficient to check the vice, but not to 
inform the duty. So then the doctrine of religion, as well 
moral as mystical, is not to be attained but by inspiration 
and revelation from God. 

The use, notwithstanding, of reason in spiritual things, 
and the latitude thereof, is very great and general: for 
it is not for nothing that the apostle calleth religion our 
reasonable service of God ; 5 insomuch as the very ceremonies 
and figures of the old law were full of reason and significa- 
tion, much more than the ceremonies of idolatry and magic, 
that are full of non-significants and surd characters. But 
most especially the Christian faith, as in all things, so in 

1 Matth. v. 44. * Virg. JEn. L 328. 3 Ovid, Met . x. 330. 

4 Plut. Alexander. 65 — ed <pvei$ fikv avry yeyov 4 vcu doicovcnv oi avdpes, 
\lav 5 £ rods vdjuovs a I o’XVp 6 jul€voi (SeftuoK^vai. 

6 Rom. xii, 1. 

Advancement of Learning 2i i 

I this deserveth to be highly magnified ; holding and preserv- 
\ ing the golden mediocrity in this point between the law of 
i the heathen and the law of Mahomet, which have embraced 
the two extremes. For the religion of the heathen had no 
constant belief or confession, but left all to the liberty of 
argument; and the religion of Mahomet, on the other side, 
J interdicteth argument altogether: the one having the very 
j face of error, and the other of imposture : whereas the faith 
f doth both admit and reject disputation with difference, 

; The use of human reason in religion is of two sorts: the 

j former, in the conception and apprehension of the mysteries 
j of God to us revealed; the other, in the inferring and 

j deriving of doctrine and direction thereupon. The former 

j extendeth to the mysteries themselves; but how? by way 
of illustration, and not by way of argument: the latter 
consisteth indeed of probation and arg um ent In the 
former, we see, God vouchsafeth to descend to our capacity, 
in the expressing of his mysteries in sort as may be sensible 
i unto us; and doth graft his revelations and holy doctrine 
upon the notions of our reason, and applieth his inspirations 
to open our understanding, as the form of the key to the 
ward of the lock: for the latter, there is allowed us a use of 
reason and argument, secondary and respective, although 
j not original and absolute. For after the articles and 

| principles of religion are placed and exempted from exam- 

ination of reason, it is then permitted unto us to make 
derivations and inferences from and accor ding to the 
f analogy of them, for our better direction. In nature this 
holdeth not; for both the principles are examinable by 
induction, though not by a medium or syllogism; and 
besides, those principles or first positions have no discord- 
ance with that reason which draweth down and deduceth 
the inferior positions. But yet it holdeth not in religion 
alone, but in many knowledges, both of greater and smaller 
nature, namely, wherein there are not only posita but 
placita ; for in such there can be no use of absolute reason. 
We see it familiarly in games of wit, as chess, or the like: 
the draughts and first laws of the game are positive, but 
how? merely ad placitum, and not examinable by reason; 
but then how to direct our play thereupon with best 
advantage to win the game, is artificial and rational. So 
in human laws, there be many grounds and mayimg which 

2 1 2 Bacon 

are placiia juris , positive upon authority, and not upon 
reason, and therefore not to be disputed : but what is most 
just, not absolutely but relatively, and according to those 
maxims, that affordeth a long field of disputation. Such 
therefore is that secondary reason, which hath place in 
divinity, which is grounded upon the placets of God. 

Here therefore I note this deficiency, that there hath 
not been, to my understanding, sufficiently inquired and 
handled the true" limits and use of reason in spiritual things, 
as a kind of divine dialectic: which for that it is not done, 
it seemeth to me a thing usual, by pretext of true conceiving 
that which is revealed, to search and mine into that which 
is not revealed; and by pretext of enucleating inferences 
and contradictories, to examine that which is positive: 
the one sort falling into the error of Nicodemus, demanding 
to have things made more sensible than it pleaseth God 
to reveal them, Quomodo possit homo nasci cum sit senex ? 1 
the other sort into the error of the disciples, which were 
scandalized at a show of contradiction. Quid est hoc quod 
dicit nobis? Modicum, et non videbitis me; et iterum 
modicum . et videbitis me, etc . 2 

Upon this I have insisted the more, in regard of the great 
and blessed use thereof ; for this point, well laboured and 
defined of, would in my judgment be an opiate to stay and 
bridle not only the vanity of curious speculations, where- 
with the schools labour, but the fury of controversies, 
wherewith the church laboureth. For it cannot but open 
men's eyes, to see that many controversies do merely 
pertain to that which is either not revealed, or positive; 
and that many others do grow upon weak and obscure 
inferences or derivations : which latter sort, if men would 
revive the blessed style of that great doctor of the Gentiles, 
would be carried thus, ego, non dominus ; 3 and again, 
secundum consilium meum, in opinions and counsels, and 
not in positions and oppositions. Bp.t men are now over- 
ready to usurp the style, non ego , sed dominus ; and not so 
■only, but to bind it with the thunder and denunciation of 
■curses and anathemas, to the terror of those which have not 
sufficiently learned out of Salomon, that the causeless curse 
shall not corned 

1 Joh. iii. 4 . 

3 i Cor. vii. 12, 40. 

a Joh. xvi. 17. 

' Prov. xxvi. 2. 

1 Advancement of Learning 213 

Divinity hath two principal parts; the matter informed 
or revealed, and the nature of the information or revelation : 
I and with the latter we will begin, because it hath most 

| coherence with that which we have now last handled. The 

I nature of the information consisteth of three branches; 

1 the limits of the information, the sufficiency of the informa- 
1 tion, and the acquiring or obtaining the information. Unto 
the limits of the information belong these considerations; 
how far forth particular persons continue to be inspired; 
how far forth the Church is inspired; how far forth reason 
; may be used: the last point whereof I have noted as defi- 
cient. Unto the sufficiency of the information belong two 
considerations; what points of religion are fundamental, 
j and what perfective, being matter of further building and 

j perfection upon one and the same foundation; and again, 

| how the gradations of light, according to the dispensation of 
times, are material to the sufficiency of belief, 
j Here again I may rather give it in advice, than note it 

as deficient, that the points fundamental, and the points 
, of farther perfection only, ought to be with piety and 
wisdom distinguished: a subject tending to much like 
I end as that I noted before; for as that other were like to 
abate the number of controversies, so this is likely to abate 
the heat of many of them. We see Moses when he saw the 
Israelite and the ^Egyptian fight, he did not say. Why 
p strive you? but drew has sword and slew the Egyptian: 
but when he saw the two Israelites fight, he said, You are 
brethren , why strive you ? 1 If the point of doctrine be an 
^Egyptian, it must be slain by the sword of the spirit, and 
not reconciled ; but if it be an Israelite, though in the wrong, 
then, Why strive you? We see of the fundamental points, 
our Saviour penneth the league thus, He that is not with us, 
is against us ; 2 but of points not fundamental, thus, He 
that is not against us, is with us . 3 So we see the coat of our 
Saviour was entire without seam, 4 and so is the doctrine 
of the Scriptures in itself; but the garment of the Church 
, was of divers colours, 5 and yet not divided: we see the 
chaff may and ought to be severed from the com in the ear, 

.[ 1 Exod. ii. 11-14. 2 Matth. xii. 30. 

I s Luke ix. 50. 4 Joh. xix. 23. 

I 5 See Ps. xlv. 10, 14; or it may refer to Joseph’s coat of many 

I colours — Gen, xxxvii. 3. 

I P 7i9 

214 Bacon 

but the tares may not be pulled up from the com in the 
field . 1 So as it is a thing of great use well to define what, 
and of what latitude those points are, which do make men 
merely aliens and disincorporate from the Church of God. 

For the obtaining of the information, it resteth upon 
the true and sound interpretation of the Scriptures, which 
are the fountains of the water of life. The interpretations 
of the Scriptures are of two sorts; methodical, and solute or 
at large.' For this divine water , 2 which excelleth so much 
that of Jacob’s Well, is drawn forth much in the same kind 
as natural water useth to be out of wells and fountains; 
either it is first forced up into a cistern, and from thence 
fetched and derived for use ; or else it is drawn and received 
in buckets and vessels immediately where it springeth. 
The former sort whereof, though it seem to be the more 
ready, yet in my judgment is more subject to corrupt. 
This is that method which hath exhibited unto us the 
scholastical divinity; whereby divinity hath been reduced 
into an art, as into a cistern, and the streams of doctrine 
or positions fetched and derived from thence. 

In this men have sought three things, a summary brevity, 
a compacted strength, and a complete perfection; whereof 
the two first they fail to find, and the last they ought not 
to seek. For as to brevity we see, in all summary methods, 
while men purpose to abridge, they give cause to dilate. 
For the sum or abridgment by contraction becometh 
obscure; the obscurity requireth exposition, and the expo- 
sition is diduced into large commentaries, or into common 
places and titles, which grow to be more vast than the 
original writings, whence the sum was at first extracted. 
So, we see, the volumes of the schoolmen are greater much 
than the first writings of the fathers, whence the Master 
of the Sentences 3 made his sum or collection. So, in like 
manner, the volumes of the modem doctors of the civil 

1 Matth. xiii. 29. 2 Joh. iv. 13, 14. 

3 Peter Lombard received this name after writing a work en- 
titled " The Sentences a summary of Theology in four Books. 
The object of the work was the settlement of all disputed doctrines 
by a collection of sentences from the Fathers. It is perhaps super- 
fluous to add that the work has not as yet fulfilled its object. Still 
he deeply affected Theology, for he laid by it the foundations of the 

Scholastic Philosophy. He was born at the beginning of the twelfth 
century; Bishop of Paris 1159; died 1164. 

Advancement of Learning 2 1 5 

law exceed those of the ancient jurisconsults, of which 
Tribonian 1 2 compileth the digest. So as this course of 
sums and commentaries is that which doth infallibly make 
the body of sciences more immense in quantity, and more 
base in substance. 

And for strength, it is true that knowledges reduced 
into exact methods have a show of strength, in that each 
part seemeth to support and sustain the other; but this is 
more satisfactory than substantial: like unto buildings 
which stand by architecture and compaction, which are 
more subject to ruin than those which are built more strong 
in their several parts, though less compacted. But it is 
plain that the more you recede from your grounds, the 
weaker do you conclude: and as in nature, the more you 
remove yourself from particulars, the greater peril of error 
you do incur: so much more in divinity, the more you 
recede from the Scriptures by inferences and consequences, 
the more weak and dilute are your positions. 

And as for perfection or completeness in divinity, it 
is not to be sought; which makes this course of artificial 
divinity the more suspect. For he that will reduce a 
knowledge into an art, will make it round and uniform: 
but in divinity many things must be left abrupt, and con- 
cluded with this: 0 altitudo sapientice et scientice Dei! 
quam incomprehensibilia sunt judicia ejus , et non investi - 
gabiles vice ejus I 2 So again the apostle saith, Ex parte 
scimus : 3 and to have the form of a total, where there is 
but matter for a part, cannot be without supplies by 
supposition and presumption. And therefore I conclude, 
that the true use of these sums and methods hath place 
in institutions or introductions preparatory unto know- 
ledge: but in them, or by deducement from them, to 
handle the main body and substance of a knowledge, is 
in all sciences prejudicial, and in divinity dangerous. 

As to the interpretation of the Scriptures solute and at 
large, there have been divers kinds introduced and devised ; 
some of them rather curious and unsafe than sober and 
warranted. Notwithstanding, thus much must be con- 

1 Tribonian, Quaestor, Consul and Master of the Offices to Jus- 
tinian. With sixteen others he compiled the Digest — promulgated 
it in 533. 

2 Rom. xi. 33. 

8 1 Cor. xiii. 9. 



fessed, that the Scriptures being given by inspiration, and 
not by human reason, do differ from all other books in the 
author: which, by consequence, doth draw on some differ- 
ence to be used by the expositor. For the inditer of them 
did know four things which no man attains to know; 
which are, the mysteries of the kingdom of glory, the 
perfection of the laws of nature, the secrets of the heart of 
man, and the future succession of all ages. For as to the 
first it is said, He that pressetk into the light, shall be oppressed 
of the glory . And again, No man shall see my face and live . 1 
To the second, When he prepared the heavens I was present, 
when by law and compass he inclosed the deep? To the 
third, Neither was it needful that any should bear witness 
to him of man, for he knew well what was in man? And 
to the last, From the beginning are known to the Lord all 
his works? 

From the former two have been drawn certain senses 
and expositions of Scriptures, which had need be contained 
within the bounds of sobriety; the one anagogical, and 
the other philosophical. But as to the former, man is not 
to prevent his time: Videmus nunc per speculum in cenig- 
mate, tunc autem facie ad faciem : 5 wherein nevertheless 
there seemeth to be a liberty granted, as far forth as 
the polishing of this glass, or some moderate explication 
to this senigma. But to press too far into it, cannot but 
cause a dissolution and overthrow of the spirit of man. 
For in the body there are three degrees of that we receive 
into it, aliment, medicine, and poison; whereof aliment is 
that which the nature of man can perfectly alter and over- 
come : medicine is that which is partly converted by nature, 
and partly converteth nature; and poison is that which 
worketh wholly upon nature, without that, that nature 
can in any part work upon it. So in the mind, whatsoever 
knowledge reason cannot at all work upon and convert is 
a mere intoxication, and endangereth a dissolution of the 
mind and understanding. 

But for the latter, it hath been extremely set on foot 
of late time by the school of Paracelsus, and some others, 
that have pretended to find the truth of all natural philo- 
sophy in the Scriptures; scandalizing and traducing all 

1 Exod. xxxiii. 20. 2 Prov. viii. 27. 3 Joh. ii. 25. 

4 Acts xv. 18. fi 1 Cor. xiii. 12. 

Advancement of Learning 217 

other philosophy as heathenish and profane. Bnt there 
is no such enmity between God’s word and His works; 
neither do they give honour to the Scriptures, as they 
suppose, but much imbase them. For to seek heaven and 
earth in the word of God, (whereof it is said, Heaven and 
earth shall pass, but my word shall not pass, 1 ) is to seek 
temporary things amongst eternal : and as to seek divinity 
in philosophy is to seek the living amongst the dead , 2 
so to seek philosophy in divinity is to seek the dead amongst 
the living: neither are the pots or la vers, whose place was 
in the outward part of the temple, to be sought in the 
holiest place of all, where the ark of the testimony was 
seated. And again, the scope or purpose of the spirit of 
God is not to express matters of nature in the Scriptures, 
otherwise than in passage, and for application to man’s 
capacity, and to matters moral or divine. And it is a true 
rule, auctoris aliud agentis parva auctoritas / for it were a 
strange conclusion, if a man should use a similitude for 
ornament or illustration sake, borrowed from nature or 
history according to vulgar conceit, as of a Basilisk, an 
Unicorn, a Centaur, a Briareus, an Hydra, or the like, that 
therefore he must needs be thought to affirm the matter 
thereof positively to be true. To conclude, therefore, these 
two interpretations, the one by reduction or senigmatical, the 
other philosophical or physical, which have been received 
and pursued in imitation of the rabbins and cabalists , 3 
are to be confined with a noli altum sapere, sed time . 4 

But the two latter points, known to God and unknown 
to man, touching the secrets of the heart, and the 
successions of time, do make a just and sound difference 
between the manner of the exposition of the Scriptures and 
all other books. For it is an excellent observation which 
hath been made upon the answers of our Saviour Christ 
to many of the questions which were propounded to him, 
how that they are impertinent to the state of the question 
demanded; the reason whereof is, because, not being like 
man, which knows man’s thoughts by his words, but know- 
ing man’s thoughts immediately, he never answered their 

1 Matth. xxiv. 35. 2 Luke xxiv. 5. 

3 Cabalists — expounders of the Jewish Cabala, or hidden science 

of divine mysteries, said by the Rabbins to have been delivered to 

Moses with the Law. 4 Rom. xi. 20. 

2 i 8 Bacon 

words, but their thoughts: much in the like manner it 
is with the Scriptures, which being written to the thoughts 
of men, and to the succession of all ages, with a foresight 
of all heresies, contradictions, differing estates of the 
church, yea and particularly of the elect, are not to be 
interpreted only according to the latitude of the proper 
sense of the place, and respectively towards that present 
occasion whereupon the words were uttered, or in precise 
congruity or contexture with the words before or after, or 
in contemplation of the principal scope of the place; 
but have in themselves, not only totally or collectively, 
but distributively in clauses and words, infinite springs 
and streams of doctrine to water the church in every part. 
And therefore as the literal sense is, as it were, the main 
stream or river; so the moral sense chiefly, and some- 
times the allegorical or typical, are they whereof the church 
hath most use; not that I wish men to be bold in allegories, 
or indulgent or light in allusions: but that I do much con- 
demn that interpretation of the Scripture which is only after 
the manner as men use to interpret a profane book. 

In this part, touching the exposition of the Scriptures, 
I can report no deficience; but by way of remembrance 
this I will add : in perusing books of divinity, I find many 
books of controversies; and many of commonplaces and 
treaties; a mass of positive divinity, as it is made an art; 
a number of sermons and lectures, and many prolix com- 
mentaries upon the Scriptures, with harmonies and con- 
cordances: but that form of writing in divinity which in 
my judgment is of all others most rich and precious, is 
positive divinity, collected upon particular texts of Scrip- 
tures in brief observations; not dilated into commonplaces, 
not chasing after controversies, not reduced into method 
of art ; a thing abounding in sermons, which will vanish, 
but defective in books which will remain; and a thing 
wherein this age excefleth. For I am persuaded, (and I 
may speak it with an absit invidia verbo , 1 and no ways in 
derogation of antiquity, but as in a good emulation between 
the vine and the olive,) that if the choice and best of those 
observations upon texts of Scriptures, which have been 
made dispersedly in Sermons within this your Majesty's 
island of Britain by the space of these forty years and 
1 Livy, ix. 19. 

Advancement of Learning 2 1 9 

more, leaving out the largeness of exhortations and applica- 
tions thereupon, had been set down in a continuance, it had 
been the best work in divinity which had been written since 
the Apostles' times. 

The matter informed by divinity is of two kinds ; matter 
of belief and truth of opinion, and matter of service and 
adoration ; which is also judged and directed by the former : 
the one being as the internal soul of religion, and the other 
as the external body thereof. And therefore the heathen 
religion was not only a worship of idols, but the whole 
religion was an idol in itself; for it had no soul, that is, no 
certainty of belief or confession : as a man may well think, 
considering the chief doctors of their church were the poets : 
and the reason was, because the heathen gods were no 
jealous gods, but were glad to be admitted into part, as 
they had reason. Neither did they respect the pureness 
of heart, so they might have external honour and rites. 

But out of these two do result and issue four main 
branches of divinity; faith , manners , liturgy , and govern- 
ment . Faith containeth the doctrine of the nature of God, 
of the attributes of God, and of the works of God. The 
nature of God consisteth of three persons in unity of God- 
head. The attributes of God are either common to the 
Deity, or respective to the persons. The works of God 
summary are two, that of the creation and that of the 
redemption : and both these works, as in total they appertain 
to the unity of the Godhead, so in their parts they refer 
to the three persons: that of the creation, in the mass of 
the matter, to the Father; in the disposition of the form, 
to the Son; and in the continuance and conservation of 
the being, to the Holy Spirit. So that of the redemption, 
in the election and counsel, to the Father; in the whole 
act and consummation to the Son; and in the application, 
to the Holy Spirit; for by the Holy Ghost was Christ con- 
ceived in flesh, and by the Holy Ghost are the elect regene- 
rate in spirit. This work likewise we consider either 
effectually, in the elect; or privatively 1 in the reprobate; 
or according to appearance, in the visible church. 

For manners, the doctrine thereof is contained in the law, 

1 All old editions have privately ; but I cannot find that this word 
is ever used as the sense of this passage requires it, and so have sub- 
stituted privatively . 



which discloseth sin. The law itself is divided, according 
to the edition thereof, into the law of nature, the law moral, 
and the law positive; and according to the style, into 
negative and affirmative, prohibitions and commandments. 
Sin, in the matter and subject thereof, is divided according 
to the commandments; in the form thereof, it referreth to 
the three persons in Deity: sins of infirmity against the 
Father, whose more special attribute is power; sins of 
ignorance against the Son, whose attribute is wisdom; 
and sins of malice against the Holy Ghost, whose attribute 
is grace or love. In the motions of it, it either moveth to 
the right hand or to the left; either to blind devotion, or 
to profane and libertine transgression; either in imposing 
restraint where God granteth liberty, or in taking liberty 
where God imposeth restraint. In the degrees and pro- 
gress of it, it divideth itself into thought, word, or act. 
And in this part I commend much the deducing of the law 
of God to cases of conscience; for that I take indeed to be 
a breaking, and not exhibiting whole of the bread of life. 
But that which quickeneth both these doctrines of faith 
and manners, is the elevation and consent of the heart; 
whereunto appertain books of exhortation, holy meditation, 
Christian resolution, and the like. 

For the liturgy or service, it consisteth of the reciprocal 
acts between God and man; which, on the part of God, 
are the preaching of the word, and the sacraments, which 
are seals to the covenant, or as the visible word; and on 
the part of man, invocation of the name of God ; and under 
the law, sacrifices; which were as visible prayers or con- 
fessions: but now the adoration being in spiritu et veritate , x 
there remaineth only vituli labiorum ; 2 although the use 
of holy vows of thankfulness and retribution may be 
accounted also as sealed petitions. 

And for the government of the church, it consisteth of 
the patrimony of the church, the franchises of the church, 
and the offices and jurisdictions of the church, and the laws 
of the church directing the whole; all which have two 
considerations, the one in themselves, the other how they 
stand compatible and agreeable to the civil estate. 

This matter of divinty is handled either in form of in- 
struction of truth, or in form of confutation of falsehood. 

1 John iv. 24. * Hosea xiv. 2. 

Advancement of Learning 22 1 

The declinations from religion, besides the privative, 
which is atheism, and the branches thereof, are three; 
Heresies , Idolatry, and Witchcraft ; heresies, when we serve 
the true God with a false worship ; idolatry, when we wor- 
ship false gods, supposing them to be true: and witchcraft, 
when we adore false gods, knowing them to be wicked and 
false: for so your Majesty doth excellently well observe, 
that witchcraft is the height of idolatry. And yet we see 
though these be true degrees, Samuel teacheth us that 
they are all of a nature, when there is once a receding 
from the word of God; for so he saith, Quasi peccatum 
ariolandi est repugnare et quasi scelus idololatrice nolle 
acquiescere } 

These things I have passed over so briefly because I can 
report no deficience concerning them: for I can find no 
space or ground that lieth vacant and unsown in the 
matter of divinity: so diligent have men been, either in 
sowing of good seed, or in sowing of tares. 

Thus have 1 made as it were a small globe of the intellectual 
world, as truly and faithfully as I could discover: with a 
note and description of those parts which seem to me not 
constantly occupate, or not well converted by the labour 
of man. In which, if I have in any point receded from 
that which is commonly received, it hath been with a 
purpose of proceeding in melius , and not in aliud ; a mind 
of amendment and proficience, and not of change and 
difference. For I could not be true and constant to the 
argument I handle, if I were not willing to go beyond others; 
but yet not more willing than to have others go beyond 
me again: which may the better appear by this, that I 
have propounded my opinions naked and unarmed, not 
seeking to preoccupate the liberty of men’s judgments by 
confutations. For in anything which is well set down, 
I am in good hope, that if the first reading move an objection, 
the second reading will make an answer. And in those 
things wherein I have erred, I am sure I have not prejudiced 
the right by litigious arguments; which certainly have 
1 1 Sam. xv. 2 3, 



this contrary effect and operation, that they add authority 
to error, and destroy the authority of that which is well 
invented: for question is an honour and preferment to 
falsehood, as on the other side it is a repulse to truth. But 
the errors I claim and challenge to myself as mine own: 
the good, if any be, is due tanquam adeps sacrificii , 1 to be 
incensed to the honour, first of the Divine Majesty, and 
next of your Majesty, to whom on earth I am most bounden. 

1 Isaiah xliii, 24. 



(The numbers refer to the pages) 

Acception, 90,= acceptation. 

Accommodate, 113, an adjective in use in Bacon’s day, but here 
equivalent to the participle and almost = adjusted. 

Adventive, 92,= adventitious — from the verb to advene, which is 
also obsolete. 

Affects, 107,= affections — not used here with any sense of in- 

Ambages, 90, 101, “ ambiguities of speech, subterfuges, evasions: ” 
Richardson, who quotes Chaucer, — 

" And but if Calcas lede us with ambages, 

That is to saine, with double words slie,” etc. 

Troil. and Cress, Bk. v. 

Bacon uses the word according to its derivation — ambe (d/x<pl ) , 
agere (tiyeiv) — “ nature worketh by ambages,” i.e. circuitous 

Antipodes, 12, of the dwellers on the other side of the earth, not of 
that other side itself. So Holland, Plinie, B. ii. c. 65, — " The 
Antipodes should marvaile why we fell not down.” 

Apprompt, 1 29, to stir up, quicken. 

Aspersion, 38, 168, sprinkling, now used chiefly, if not entirely 
metaphorically, and in a bad sense — then frequently in a good, — 
“ No sweet aspersions shall the heavens let fall.” 

Shakes., Tempest, iv. i. 

Attend, 185, used actively, — “ I have attended them with observa- 

Bird -Witt ed, 151, incapable of continuous attention. Bp. Fisher 
uses the compound gross-witted — Hall, subtil-witted. (Not in 

Blanch, 150,= blink, to avoid or evade; also ^blench. So Shake- 
spere, Measure for M. iv. 5. " Do you blench from this ? ” 

Briber, 184, here a receiver, not a giver, of bribes. This agrees 
with the origin of the word (see Richardson) — b e-reaver, or be- 
robber, the original usage being = thief. So, as the word changed 
meaning, it became *' a receiver of unlawful gain.” Then in 
modem English it is transferred to the agent who bribes. 

Caption, 1 31, quibbling and deceit — used in fallacies. 

Carnosities, 1 14, a mediaeval term, for growth of fleshy substances, 
as wens. (The word is not noticed in Richardson.) 

Cautels, 165, tricks and frauds — the word having drifted away from 
cautela, while caution has continued to represent the Latin. So 



224 Bacon 

Hall, Henry VI., anno 26, — “ By this praty cautele and slight 
imposture was the town taken.’ * 

“ So now no soil, nor cautel doth besmirch 
The virtue of his will.” — Shakes., Hamlet , i. 3. 

Cease, 32, used transitively, “ to cease progression,” equivalent to 
“ put a stop to.” 

Censure, 207, = to be kept under censorship — not —blame. 

Ceremonies, 120, used of superstitious usages, intended to invoke 
the aid of spirits. So Sliakespere, Jul. Cees. ii 1 : — 

“ For he is superstitious grown of late, 

Quite from the main opinion he held once 
Of phantasy, of dreams, and ceremonies .” 

Civil estate, 2, condition as member of a civitas. The highest use 
of the term is now almost, it not entirely, gone. See Trench, 
Glos. verbo. A “ civil opinion, ”= received, 119. 

Champaign, 99, plain land — locus campestris. In Bacon’s day both 
a substantive and (as here) an adjective. 

Circumfer, 85, almost = transfer, a rare verb, though its sense is 
plain enough, and its derivative common. 

Coarctation, restraint. 

Coevals, 80, coincident in point of time — used as a substantive. 
Hakewill, Apologie, “ taunted at by his coevals” 

Colliquation, 93, melting — opposed (by Sir T. Brown, Vulgar 
Errors, Bk. ii. c. i) to coagulation. 

Columbine, 165, dove-like — the innocency of the dove, as opposed 
to “ serpentine wisdom.” This is the only instance of the use of 
this adjective. 

Compass, 127, = (now) a pair of compasses. By the change of use 
we distinguish between this instrument and the mariner’s compass. 

Compass-reaches, 192. This compound is not noticed in Richard- 
son. Its sense is that of roundabout steps taken towards the 
accomplishment of any object — reaching forth to compass it. 

Complexion, 1 34, — (probably) temperament or disposition. The 
word has now been degraded from the inward parts of a thing 
or person to the tint of the outward countenance. The transition 
is marked in Richardson (quoting Cook’s Voyages , vol. i. c. 10), 
“ without the least appearance of what is called complexion ” — 
where he is speaking of a man's skin as dead white, without colour. 

Confectionary, 170, the maker of confections, not the confections 
made. So 1 Sam. viii. 13, “ He will take your daughters to be 
confectionaries The word confection is not rightly limited to sweet 
stuff. Bacon here uses it as equal to apothecary (a word formed in 
the same manner) — and in mediaeval Latin the apothecary was 
confectionarius . Comfit is derived from the same source. 

Conscient, 1 88,== conscious. Richardson does not acknowledge 
the existence of this word; but, quoting the passage whence it 
comes, alters it to conscious. 

Consist in, 119,= depend upon. Richardson quotes Ford — 

" Tho’ the use 

Of such set entertainments more consists 
In custom, than in cause; yet,” etc. 

Glossary 225 

Contentation, ** contentment. 

Contestations, i 8 , —contests, contentions. 

Continent, 105,=*= the whole extent of anything. So here “ the 
continent of Nature” is “ all that comes within the limits of 

Contestation, 4,=trouble or distress. In Eccles. 1. 18, the word 
which Bacon englishes by contristation, the Authorized Version 
renders grief. 

Copie, 24, 126, 135, aplenty — a French word imported into England 
in the sixteenth century. We still retain its adjective copious — 
and copy is really another form of the same word, though its 
usa^e is different. To copy is " copiam facere exscribendi,” and 
perhaps carries us back to the days of the multiplication of 
" copies ” of books by the hand. — See Dean Trench's Glossary. 
There is a curious use of the word in p. 182 — “ howsoever a man 
change copy, he can no ways quit himself well of it ” (of contending 
with a fool). The Latin simply has “ quocunque nos vertamus.” 

Corroborate, 17,= strong, matured. 

Decarded, 103,= discarded — de or dis — carta, to throw away one’s 
hand at cards. Richardson quotes Macklin’s Dumb Knight , — 

“ Indeed, mine are two queens, and one, I'll throw away — 

Can you decard, madam? ” 

Deducements, 1 86,= deductions. 

Defunct, 122, a substantive, now only used as an adjective. 

Designments, 19,= intentions. 

Destituted, 106,= abandoned. 

Devote, 34,=devoted (not devout , as one ed. reads it), given up to 
any matter — then (especially) to the worship of God. 

Difficile, 179,= difficult. 

Digladiation, 27,= fencing, with swords, properly: thence with 
sharp instruments — as the tongue. 

Dilatation, 96, power of expansion. Bacon, in saying that God 
is '* Holy in the description or dilatation of his works,” seems to 
use these words as synonyms, whereas they are more properly 
used, dilatation — of the expansion of the thing itself; description 
— of the limitation of the thing by investigators. 

Discourse, 23, 186. See Trench’s Glossary , “ Might have received 
large discourse ,” illustration or investigation of a subject. So 
again, ” discourse of government,” “ discourse of business,” and 
discourse of reason,” are all phrases used by Bacon in the 
original sense of the word, springing out of the Latin discursus — 
— the passing from thought to thought, subject to subject; or, 
as in logic, from premise to conclusion; and thence the word 
descends to the modern usage — of discussion by talk. There is 
a curious usage of discoursing in p. 97, where Bacon uses it (unless 
some words have been omitted) as = final causes. 

Droumy, 203, “disturbed, troubled, “ to fish in droumy waters.” 
The Latin has “ in aquis turbidis piscari.” The word is not found 
in Richardson’s dictionary, nor can I trace its history. 

Dulceness, 1 97,= sweetness. I find no other example of this 
substantive, though dulcet and the verb to dulce are not un- 
common in old writers. (This substantive is not in Richardson.) 



Easiliest, 34,— most easily. 

Elench, 131, a technical term — refutation of an argument or 

Embase, see Imbase. 

Enablement, 64,— aid or means. 

Estuation, 1 61, = heat and commotion. 

Exceed, 108,= pass beyond the bounds of moderation — used 
without a case after it. 

Expulsed, 143,= expelled. 

Exquisite, 29, —carefully fought out (not re-fined, as now). 

Extern, 86, 164, 170,= foreign or outward. 

Extirper, 42,= extirpator — the old verb being to extirp , not to 

Factures, 107, 113,= fashion or features of a thing. For the word 
feature is only another form of the word facture . 

Fantastical, 23, = (in this place) false-based upon the fancy alone, 
without any basis of fact or truth. 

Flexuous, 96, = bending and pliant. 

Fripper, 145,= broker. We retain the word in our frippery — 
from frivolus, a seller oi frivolous or worthless goods. See Trench's 

Gamester, 163, —player — not with the sightest sense of 
So in Shakespere, — 

“ Sirrah, young gamester , your father was a fool." 

Taming of the Shrew, ii. 1. 

And, — 

“ You are a merry gamester ." — ■ Henry VIII., i. 4. 

The word is still used in its right sense in the West of England, 

Gigantine, 160,= gigantic, giant-like. (This adjective is not in 

Gravelled, 71,— stuck or set fast in gravel; then, embarrassed. 
So Shakespere, As you Like It, iv. 1, “ Gravelled for lack of 
matter." i>ean Trench quotes the Rheims version of the Acts 
xxvii. 41, “ When they were fallen into a place between two seas, 
they gravelled the ship.” The word has now passed out of the 
original sense. Gravel is derived either from glareola or from 
gravare — the loading of ships for ballast — or from to grave or dig 
ou t~ (to grub) — a doubtful suggestion of Serenius. The first 
seems to be the most probable. 

Ground, 162,= an accompaniment with an instrument in music— 
the metaphor being somewhat similar to that which would connect 
bass with base or ground-floor of anything. The basso part is 
simply the low part — as distinct from tenore, midway; alto, high; 
soprano, above all. Thus bass or ground would be the foundation 
on which all rests. 

Holding of, 2,== pertaining to. 

Humour, humorous, 15, 41, 170. This word (Lat. humor, moisture) 
was originally used of the four “ humours " of the body, blood, 
phlegm, choler, melancholy ; it came to a morbid state of the mind 

j Glossary 227 

arising from excess of these; and so Bacon here uses it; “ the 
censure of humour , malignity, and pusillanimity ” where it is not 
= ill-humour in our sense, but rather = a diseased or jaundiced 
condition of mind. We apply the word in medicine to a moist 
diseased state of the body: — in common language, to good and ill 
humour, or a cheerful or morose condition of temper; — and to a 
quality of mind, difficult to define — a deep, almost solemn, sense 
of the incongruities which coexist in the world. “ The humorous 
man (i.e. the melancholy man) shall end his part in peace.” — 
Hamlet, ii. 2. 

Illaqueation, 131, 1 46, —entanglement. The chief part of the 
glossary under this letter must be taken up with Latin words which 
entered into our language, when learned men began to use it 
instead of Latin for literary purposes. The early part of the 
seventeenth century, under a pedantic king, was the time when 
this transition was most marked. As the English tongue gathered 
strength by greater use in philosophical writings, it threw off 
these excrescences of unnatural words, and we are rid of con- 
siderable numbers of them. 

Imaginant, 108,— person who imagines — a good word, though 
perhaps not now in actual use. 

Imbar, 3 8 , —bar or hinder, 

Imbase (or embase), 30, 78, 103, 196, 2 17,= to lower, degrade; 
almost ass debase. 

Impertinent, 97, —out of place, according to the acceptance of the 
word among other writers. 

Imposthumation, ii4,=tumour or cyst formed in any part of the 
body by the humours withdrawn from the other parts. 

Improficience, 97,— want or absence of progress. 

Inception, 160, 175,— beginning. 

Indifferent, 17,== impartial. Thence it came naturally to= 
moderate ; thence, of course, lukewarm and careless. So hard is 
it for one who feels to help being a partisan — and so rare is a 
really impartial and judicial spirit. 

; Infirm, 131,— to deprive of strength. Used by Bacon as the 
opposite of affirm. The method of Socrates, he says, was to 
“ infirm that which was affirmed by another.” 

Influence into, 207, used in a sense of its derivation, as of one 
stream flowing into another. 

Ingurgitation, 114, = a greedy swallowing. So Burton, Anatomy 
of Mel. (p. 235), has, " to eat and ingurgitate beyond all measure.” 

| Inquire, 115, used as our " inquire into.” 

| Insatisfaction, 173,— disappointment or absence of satisfaction. 

Insinuation, 83,— bending of oneself, so as to correspond with the 
form of a thing — (not in a bad sense) . 

[ Intend, 180, 201,— attend to. 

j Intrinsic, 31,— internal (not as now— real). 

I Invent, 122,— discover (invenire) ; the wider use of the term, now 
limited to the productions of man’s ingenuity and skill. 

J Jocularly, 117,= pertaining to jugglery, to which form it has been 



contracted in course of time. The joculator in low Latin was the 
merry-andrew , or juggler (jocus). . 11 

Jurisconsults, 69,== lawyers — professors of law; being the Latin 
word simply transferred into the English tongue. 

Leese, 30, 59, 62, 148, 168, 198. This is the old spelling of the 
same verb as " to lose ” ; akin to it are loss, less, to loose. . In p. 
30, Bacon uses it as equivalent to waste , or diminish a thing; in 
pp. 59, 148,= to lose . (So, too, the termination less comes from 
this verb — blame-fess, etc.) ; so Germ, los , free. 

Levant, the, 20, =* the East, not part of the Mediterranean sea. 

Ledger, 192,= legate (a corrupt form of the word not noticed by 
Richardson) . In Bailey's Diet, it is spelt ledger. 

Liker, 49,= more likely. 

Limned, 24,= illuminated; the derivation being the same. 

Lust, 85, used by Bacon of Poesy, which “ is as a plant that cometh 
of the lust of the earth." — so used as nearly equivalent to its 
German meaning. 

Machination, 40, = machine. The bad sense of the term is met with 
early. Richardson quotes Sandy’s Psalms, p. 96, — 

** How long will you machinate , 

Persecute with ceaseless hate ! " 

Magistral, 34,= our dogmatic. 

Magistralities, 115. Magistery was a term used by chemists. 
Paracelsus describes it thus — " a preparation whereby the whole 
or very near the whole of any body, by the help of some addita- 
ment, greater or less, is turned into a body of another kind." 
(Boyle, Works, i. p. 637.) This explains Bacon’s use of the term; 
but in p. 103, he uses it as almost equivalent to dogmatism. 

Maniable, 14,= manageable, tractable (through the French manier, 
from manus). This French form of the word never took root. 

Manured, 68, 151. The same word as manoeuvre — oeuvre into ure. 
To manure, then, is to work by hand, or cultivate — first land, then 
intellects. Richardson quotes Bishop Hall, who, in one of his 
Satires, Bk. v. Sat. i. speaks of “ many a load of marie and 
manure ." This brings in the modern usage of the term — a very 
restricted and debased use. 

Mirabilaries, 71, works containing things marvellous. (?) Note- 
books of Marvels. 

Moe, 18, 136. See Richardson, v. More. Bacon uses the word as a 
comparative. It is (according to the etymologists) that which is 
mow-en, or mow-ed, into a heap ( mawan , to mow, A.S.). Then 
mo; mo-er, (more); mo-est, (most). Our much is a derivation of 
mo — mickle. The general use of the word is comparative and— 

Moral, 21,== (perhaps) customary — a Latinised use "secundum 
morem " — deriving the adjective from the singular, not from the 
plural of mos. 

Morigeration, 21 , — complaisance or compliance; “ morem gerere 
alicui," to humour him. 

Mought, 78, 79, 113, — might. 

Glossary 229 

Non-promovent, 144. This is not Latin, as one edition seems to 
make it, but an English word, formed after the type of such 
compounds as non-proficient, non-conforming , etc. Bacon himself 
interprets it by “ incurring into themselves.” The meaning is— 

1 “ not advancing ” as are arguments in circulo. 

Occupate, 1 08 , = occupy. Used as an adjective in 221,= occupied. 

Painful, 201,= painstaking, industrious — here and elsewhere an 
epithet of the clergy. 

Palliate, 113, = palliated, or mitigated. 

Pantomimus, in, the person, not the thing. See Trench’s 

Parcel, = part. 

Participles, 86, =partaking of more kinds than one; used 
generally and not solely of grammar. 

Pasquil, 47,= pasquinade, or lampoon (from an image at Rome, to 
which libels and satires were affixed). 

Ped antes, 10, 17. This word was written thus by Bacon as a 
foreign word (Italian or Spanish, probably the latter), newly 
introduced into the English tongue and not acclimatised. It does 
not seem to carry its modern notion of affectation joined with 
j learning, in the use Bacon makes of the word pedantical (p. 1 5 1). 

I Percase, 1 72,= perchance. 

Ply, 198, This word is again used as a substantive by Bacon in 
the Essay on Custom: “ Late learners cannot so well take the 
ply ; except it be in some minds, that have not suffered them- 
selves to fix.” Where we see the same sense as in the compound 
apply — the bending or turning the mind to any matter. In this 
passage Bacon uses the word as almost = purpose : “ can bring 
occasion to their ply,” — i.e. “ can bend circumstances to their 
service,” etc. 

Popularity, 208,= populousness. Sir T. Browne uses populostty — 
which, ugly as it is, would be the more correct form of the word. 

Pragmatical, 188,= officious, busy — now solely “priggish,” — a 
word which perhaps comes from it. See Trench’s Glossary. 

Prenotion, 106, a subdivision of that part of human science which 
treats of the sympathy between mind and body. Also, 206, the 
process of marking off beforehand what has no connection with 
the subject. Used by Bacon as one of the two “ intentions ” or 
means in the received Arts of Memory. 

Preposterous, 201, used in its exact sense of wrong order of things. 

Presention, 1 18, = presentiment, or previous perception inwardly 
i of that which is about to occur. (Not in Richardson.) 

I Proficience, 62, 79, 221, =a making of progress. [Profit is the 
j same word under another form.) 

| Propriety, 3, 208, property in its logical sense. 

Punctual, 21,= to a point — thence exact even to littleness; later 
[ confined to time only, in sense of accurate . See Trench’s Glossary. 

I Punto, 180, (Spanish) = ceremony, punctilio. Another example of 
I the Spanish connection with England about this period of our 

I history. 

| Purgament, i 13, =that which purges or cleanses, 

j Q 7*9 

230 Bacon 

Quit, 182, ^acquit. So in the Bible, A.V.— " Quit you like men/’ 
— 1 Cor. xvi. 1 3. 

Redargution, 64, 1 3 1, —refutation. # . . . 

Re-edify, 46, = rebuild. The verb edify being used m its original 
signification, as edifice still is. 

Regiment, 2, 108, 173,= rule, government (regimen) When did 
the technical use of the term for a body of men under strict 
government first obtain? Dryden uses it. 

Reintegrate, 90, 138,= re-establish anew. (Not merely to renew, 
but to go back to the beginning — as Bacon uses it of the term 
magia which he proposes to " revive and reintegrate/’ i.e. to 
bring back to its original sense.) 

Reluctation, 37, 155, 209,= resistance. We use reluctant still, of 
one struggling against what he dislikes, yet is driven to. 

Remora, 97 (remorare, mora), a little fish, as was thought, which, 
clinging to a ship’s keel, stayed her course. Thence metaphor of 
any hindrance. 

" All sodainly there clove unto her keele 
A little fish, that men call remora, 

Which stopt her course, and held her by the heele, 

That winde nor tide could move her thence away.” 

Spenser, The World’s Vanitie. 

Remove, 200,= removal. 

Respective, i,= respectful (almost) — more exactly, haying due 
respect or regard to the worth of the person dealt with. The 
honour which would be respective to a king would scarcely be 
respective to a squire. 

Sad, 1 8 1, —grave, firm, and fixed; derived from the A.-S .fat- — so 
that sad is that which is set or fixed; then grave or sedate ; then 
serious, mournful. See French’s Glossary. 

Sake, 29 (if the reading be correct), either —side (which has been 
suggested as an emendation), or = quest — following its derivation 
from the verb seek , “ on the other sake ” would then be “ on the 
other side of the investigation,” referring to Aristotle’s two 
treatises — one on Natural History, the other (attributed to him) 
of Prodigies, etc. 

Sapience, 36,— wisdom. 

Scholastical, 49, = pedantic, not necessarily in a bad sense. 

Secured, =free from care or hindrance (?). 

Seen, to be well, i i i, = to be esteemed. 

Segregate, 178, as opposed to congregate, or aggregate — separated 
part from part. 

Sever, to, 178,— to be disjoined, or dissevered; " seldom meet, 
and commonly sever.” 

Slug, to, 97,= to render sluggish ; slug is from the same root as 

Solute, 2i4,=loose and unrestrained. 

Sort, 185, 21 1. " In sort that ”— we now use “ in such sort.” 

Sortable, 48, = agreeable to, corresponding with. 

Spial, 65,= spy. Shakespere uses espial, Hamlet, iii. 1. 


Spinosity, i 2 i, = prickliness, as of thorns. 

Statua, 69, 167, 199,— statue. The English form was in use long 
before Bacon’s time, so that he might as well have written it 
instead of disfiguring his text with an unnecessary Latin word. 
Shakespere (according to Collier and Knight) wrote statue , not 
statua , in Julius Ccesar , iii. 2, — " Even at the base of Pompey’s 
statua .” 

Sxond, 173. “ Knots and stonds of the mind.” Richardson says 

it = standing-place or station; stay, stop. It seems to be more 
like the joints and divisions of the stem of a plant. 

Suppeditation, 1 69,— support and supply. 

Surd, 210, almost —absurd — i.e. without proper significance, 
" idolatry and magic, that are full of non-significants and surd 
characters.” So in mathematics, surds are “ roots incapable of 
being exhibited in a finite form,” and incommensurable. 

Syntax, 150,— arrangement in relation to one another. Bacon 
uses it of the “ order of pursuit ” in which studies may be under- 

Table, 47, —picture {tableau). So Holland’s Pliny, xxxv. c. 9. So 
Tablet (ibid.). 

Tarrasse, 3 5,== terrace. So spelt, following the pronunciation, etc., 
of the French terrasse, or of the Spanish terrazo. 

Tax, to, 16, 19, 21, no, 195, used absolutely, (almost —depreciated). 
“ The imposter is prized, and the man of virtue taxed.” So 
Barrow, vol. iii. fer. 3, — “ He was not like those masters of 
philosophy, so frequently taxed and derided by the satirists.” 
Is it equivalent to ” taxed with folly” or (following the original 
sense), weighed , or rated, and found wanting? So Bacon uses 
taxation , pp. 77, 128. 

Terrene, 39,= earthly. 

Theory, 91, used in the original sense of Qeupla investigation, 
chiefly of things abstract. 

Thwart, 14, —perverse, twisted. The verb to thwart is in general use, 
the adjective has now disappeared. The substantive thwart of a 
boat (cross piece of board whereon the rowers sit), and athwart 
are also in use. A.S. thweorian , to wrest; thweort , past participle. 
Shakespere, King Lear , i. 4, — " And be a thwart denatured 

Tractates, 202,— treatises — we now have cut the word down to 
tract , and its meaning down to a flimsy or short paper of a 
few pages, A tractate was a complete work on some special 

Treacle, 115, not our syrup of molasses, but a medicine composed 
of viper’s flesh, as an antidote to the viper’s bite — see note, p. 115. 

Trivial, i44,=common and well-known: — not in Bacon’s use= 
worthless; but (according to its derivation) of things in the 
high-way, beaten down by many feet : the sense worthless is later. 
Richardson notices the similarity of sense and sound with trifle) 
but the words are not really connected. 

Typocosmy, 145,— a figure or representation of the world ; Kdo-ftov 









Undervalue, 3, the verb is common enough, — the substantive is 
not now in use. Bacon takes it in the sense of deficiency in worth : 
“ what defects and undervalues I find in such particular acts.” 

Unperfect, 73, —imperfect. 

Unproper, 33, —improper. 

Ure, 124, 1 41, (if this reading be allowed, instead of use). There 
are two derivations suggested — usura t which is improbable; 
and oeuvre, as manure from main, ceuvre . The meaning is much 
the same as that of use . Chaucer, Complaint of the Black Knight, 
uses it thus : — 

“ he so piteously gan cry 
On his fortune and on ure also.” 

i.e. fortune = chance, and ure— labour, not of chance. So Milton, 
Paradise Lost , uses the verb inure (or enure) not as derived from 
ure, but (as above) from oeuvre. 

Vastness, 98 (vastitudo), a waste or desert — following the deriva- 
tion of the word. (Richardson gives no example of this usage of, 
the term.) 

Ventosity, 77, 1 95,= windiness, or lightness, as of air. 

Verdor, 39, said by Mr. Spedding to be a different word from 
verdure, but this seems to be very doubtful. 

Vermiculate, 26. Bacon is drawing a comparison between the 
corruption of some solid substances into worms, and the tendency 
of sound knowledge to putrify into idle and unwholesome “ and, 
as I may term them, vermiculate questions; ” where the word 
clearly signifies questions that are corruptions of knowledge, 
though some notion of entanglement and intricacy may possibly 
also enter in. 

Vollies of wits, 208,— flights (as of birds) of men of learning and 
wisdom. This sense is rare, if not peculiar to Bacon. The 
ordinary meaning of discharges of flying shot is at the bottom of 
all the passages mentioned by Richardson. 

Voluble, 198, volubility, 165 (volubilis), apt or easy to roll — 
“ voluble with the wheels of Fortune.” Volubility is used by 
Bacon as an epithet of the serpent. Now used chiefly, if not 
entirely, of speech, and that too in rather a disparaging sense. 

Whiffler, 125,— piper — connected with whiff, a slight breath of 
wind; also perhaps with waft — such a current of air as may be 
made by the waving of a fan — (Richardson). Mr. Markby, very 
appositely to the passage in Bacon, quotes Shakespere, King 
Henry V. v. (chorus) — 

“ The deep-mouthed sea, 

Which, like a mighty whiffler before the king. 

Seems to prepare his way.” 




Abel, type of the contemplative 
state, 38 
Abraham, 209 

Academic philosophers, why popular, 

Acatalepsy in philosophy, 126 
Accidents of words, an appendix to 
grammar, 138 

Achilles, envied by Alexander, 48; 

educated by Chiron, 84 
Active good better than passive, 159 
Adonis, Venus’ minion, 25 
Adrian, “ master of thirty legions,” 
22; a learned prince and great 
inquirer, 45 

Advancement of Learning, compared 
to the tuning of instruments 
before a concert, 207 
^Eschines’ sneer at Demosthenes, 13 
^Esculapius and Circe, fable of, no; 

son of the sun, 112 
^Esop, fable of the cock, 60; fables 
are parabolical poesy, 83 
Affections, inquiry respecting the, 
171; insufficiently handled by the 
ancients, ib.] best treated by 
poets and historians, ib. 

Agesilaus, 54; speech to Phama- 
bazus, 17 

Agrippa, half a Christian, 46 
Agrippina, detestable choice of, 60; 

stung Tiberius by a speech, 19 1 
Ahasuerus, his journals, 78 
Albertus Magnus, too credulous in 
natural history, 29 
Alchemists depend on Vulcan, 65, 90 
Alchemy, 33 ; related to imagination, 


Alexander Borgia’s saying respecting 
the French expedition, 102 
Alexander the Great, Aristotle’s 
scholar, 9, 48; his expedition into 
Asia, 32, 54; his estimate of learn- 
ing, 48 ; his letter to Aristotle, ib . ; 
examples of his acuteness, 49 ; his 
saying about Greek wars, 55 ; his 
allowance to Aristotle, 65 ; the 
journals of his house, ; his 
title of prado , 92 ; sends messen- 
gers to Dendamis, 210 
Alexander Severus, ix, 4 7 


Anabaptists (of Munster), their evil 
tenets, 158 

Analytics, their place in logic, 13 1 
Anatomy, too much neglected, 113 
Angels in a hierarchy, 37 ; our know- 
ledge limited, 89 ; fell by aspiring 
to be like God in power, 177 
Annals of Tacitus, 78 
Anthropomorphites, heresy of, 133 
Antipater, 50; a bad ruler, ib. 
Antipodes, 12 

Antiquities are history defaced, 73; 
of the world, 75 

Antiquity worshipped by some, 31; 

not to be neglected, 91 
Antitheta, or theses argued pro and 
con.,' 149 

Antoninus, Marcus Aurelius, 3, 46 
Antoninus Pius, most learned, 46; 
became half a Christian, 47; died 
a peaceful death, 114 
Antonius over-reached by Mucianus, 

Anytus, accuser of Socrates, 9 
Aphorisms are knowledge in growth, 
43; compared with methodical 
writings, 142 

Apollo ruled over music and medi- 
cine, no 
Apollonius, 45 

Apophthegms, Caesar’s, 81 ; Solo- 
mon’s, 182 

Apotheosis of the learned, 42 
Appendices to history, 81 
Arabian philosophers, 29 
Archimedes, 30 

Architecture illustrates man’s per- 
sonal relation with society, 163 
Ariosto’s conceit of posthumous 
fame, 77 

Aristippus’ reply after having fallen 
at Dionysius’ feet, 22 
Aristotle, 30, 33 ; Alexander’s tutor, 
9; dictator over the schoolmen, 
26; not too credulous, 29; mixes 
philosophy with logic, 33, 97; 
helped in his inquiries by Alex- 
ander, 65; his De Miris Auscult., 
70; on small things, 72; contra- 
dicts antiquity, 91; too fond of 
final causes, 97; his Problemata a 

234 Bacon 

valuable work, 102; compared to 
the Turkish Sultan who murders his 
brethren, 103 ; notices the growth 
of observation in children, 104; 
wrote on prediction, 107; but not 
on gesture, ib. ; on imagination 
and reason, 12 x ; on the mind, 122 ; 
derides the sophists, 128; ex- 
pounds the fable of Atlas, 130; 
on elenches, 131*, on argument in 
a circle, 135; on speech, 136; 
taxes Democritus, 143; on rheto- 
ric, 146; compares logic and rhe- 
toric together, 148 ; his collections 
of signs of good and evil (in the 
topics), ib . ; not well worked out, 
149 said that the young only can 
be happy, 155 ; blames Herodicus, 
158; on moral culture, 167; on 
magnanimity, 169; does not duly 
consider the relations of age, for- 
tune, etc., to morals, 171; but 
touches on these points in the 
Rhetoric, ib.; does not duly dis- 
cuss the affections, ib. ; except 
casually in the Rhetoric, ib. ; care- 
less in his discussion as to custom 
and habit, 173; gives precepts for 
habituation, 1 74 ; caution req uired 
in training youth, ib.; on heroic 
or divine virtue, 176 
Arithmetic, 99 

Arts, history of, 71; calendar to be 
made, 101; their duty to exalt 
nature, 125 

Ascham’s veneration for Cicero and 
Demosthenes, 24 

Astrology related to imagination 
rather than reason, 29; has a 
noble aim, ib.; divides men’s 
natures according to the planets, 

Astronomy, can be explained either 
by the “ received,” or by the 
Copernican hypothesis, 104 
Atalanta, 35 
Atheism, 8 
Athletic art, 117 
Atlas, fable of, 130 
Atticus, 199; his advice to Cicero 
on bearing, 180 

Augustine, St., not so great a teacher 
as ecclesiastical history is, 70 
Augustus Caesar, his eloquence de- 
scribed by Tacitus, 2; praised by 
Virgil, 57 ; desired euthanasia, 1 14 ; 
requested a plaudite when dying, 
188; lived before men’s eyes, 194 ; 
his feigned frankness, 199 ; hoped 

to employ well his ill-gotten 
fortune, 204 

Authority in science is too highly 
credited, 30 

Axioms applicable to more than one 
science, 86, 87 

Babel, 38 

Bacon, Lord, promises a work on 
Laws, 20 7 

Basilisk, fable of the, 165 
Baths, medicinal, 116 
Beasts get the credit of most inven- 
tions, 123 

Behaviour like a garment, 179 
Bias, precept of, concerning friend- 
ship, 202 

Biography, 77, 186 
Bird-witted (or inattentive) people 
cured by mathematics, 15 1 
Blasus, 152 

Books to be cherished in a state, 
62 ; plentiful, but not good, 67 
Briareus, the hundred-handed, 84 
Brutus, Lucius, his act towards his 
sons, 166 

Brutus and Cassius, their images 
absent from Junta’s funeral, 16; 
their supper and discourse on 
tyrants, 166; Brutus’ speech on 
fortune, 205 

Business, wisdom of, much neglected, 

Caesar, Augustus (see Augustus ) 
Caesar, Julius (see Julius ) 

Cain, type of the active life, 38 
Calendar of knowledge to be made, 
xoi; and of doubts, 103; and of 
popular errors, ib. 

Callisthenes attended Alexander, 48 ; 
his eloquence, 50 

Car, of Cambridge, almost deified 
Cicero, 24 
Caraealla, 47 

Cardan, too credulous, 29 
Cardinals, their temperaments noted 
in the accounts of conclaves, 170 
Cameades, ambassador to Rome, 9 
Cassander, argued with Alexander, 

Cassius (and Brutus), their images 
not shown at Junia’s funeral, 16; 
their supper and discussion on 
assassination of tyrants, 166 
Casuistry, cases of, 165, 166 
Categories, their use, 132 
Catiline, 74; wished to “fish in 
droumy waters,” 203 



. . .v. „ P ncor 8 ; wished to learn 
°g^taS£Sdlr,* 4 S llis judg- 

2 St « hi. countrymen, I79: 
Ws judgment os 1 him 187, 197 
Catotte second (of Utica), Ms errore 
k judgment, 12, praised 

“ y Cicero, 167; censured by 
Cassar, 200 

Patulus, the orator, 194, 1 

Causes, the four, how “ivestigated, | 

cisus condemned amtomiavivorum, 
tir acknowledges that logic has 
nothing to do with medicine, 

Ceremonies not lawful, 12c 
ChSe gets the cred.t of most 
inventions, 124 .. 

Characters of men to be studied by 

the moral philosopher, 169, 

Charity, “ the very bond of virtues,” 


Charles V. on fortune, 205 
Charms, how supposed to act, 120 

Cherubim, angels of light, 37 
Chess, 21 1 

Chinese characters, 137 „ 

Chiron, the centaur, Achilles pre- 
ceptor, 84 

Christianity, has settled the question 
as to summum bonum, 154 \ exalts 
social above private good, 156 
Chronicles, 74 . . ' . 

Chrysippus tried to interpret the 
fables of the poet, 84; followed 
a bad way of persuading men to 
virtue, 147 „ . , 

Church, the, charged with the . 
excesses of heretics, 2 2 ; befriended 
learning, 40, 41 , # ! 

Church History too credulous, 28; 

how divided, 80 j 

Cicero, M. Tullius, 33, 124 , 194. 203; 
had no resolution, 12; best or 
second best of orators, 14 ; his 
philosophy adorned by eloquence, j 
25; on posthumous fame, 77; * 
his complaint against Socrates, 
106; an academic, 12 6; com- 
mends rhetorical preparations, 
128; on rhetoric, 146 ; on faulty 
exercise of the faculties, 15 s ; Ms 
Oratio pro Marcello, % 6 $; praises j 
Cato the Second, 167 ; his j udg- j 
ment on Cato, 175; his interview 
with Caesar, x8o; his Ad Aitimm ? 
useful for wisdom of business, j 
186; censures Fompey, 194; calk 
Caesar 199 j relates howl 

Augustus feigned frankness, ib.; 
his perfect orator, 203 
Cicero, Quintus, his advice to his 
brother, 180; his book De 
Petitione Consulatus , 182; calls 
the face animi jama , 190 
Ciceronian style revived at the 
Reformation, 23, 24 
Ciphers, 139 

Circe and ^sculapius, no 

Civil History, 73 ; knowledge, 179 

Clement VII., 12 

Cleon hated eloquence, 147 

Coat of Christ without a seam, 213 

Cobwebs of learning, 26 

Columbus, 32 

Commentaries, 73; in theology are 
bad, 214 
Commodus. 47 
Common-place Books, 135 
Conclaves, 170 

Confusion of tongues the second 
curse of man, 138 
Conscience, 210 

Constantine nick named Trajan Pane- 
taria , 46 

Contemplation, the best state, 33-38; 
Aristotle placed it above active 
life, Christianity places it below it, 
156; reserved for God and angels, 

Contradictory instances not to be 
neglected in induction, 125 
Controversies in religion nearly 
extinct, 208; an affliction to the 
Church, 212 

Copernicus’ theory of astronomy, 
104, 106 

Corruption of learning a great evil, 

Coruncanius used to walk in the 
forum to be consulted on business. 
1 81 

Cosmography, history of, 97 
Countenance, the, a tell-tale, 190 
Craterus, Alexander’s friend, 51 
Credulity, akin to imposture, 28 
Cretans, how judged by St. Paul, 170 
Critics, advice to, 150 
Croesus’ interview with Solon, 201 
Curius, 181 

Custody of knowledge, art of, 142 
Custom and habit, 173 
Cyrenaic school, wherein it placed 
happiness, 157 
Cyrus Minor, 74 

Daedalus, 65 

Dancing answers to versifying, 139 

236 Bacon 

Darius, 48 

De Petitione Consulatus of Quintus 
Cicero, the one work on business 
written among the ancients, 182 
Death, preparation for, 162 
Dedications of books, 21 
Deeds of men not to be trusted, 190 
Defects of character, 196 
Definitions, necessary, 134 
Democritus, 30, 103; of the truth 
of Nature, 90; said that there was 
no ruling mind in the universe, 97 ; 
his philosophy, ib.; based his 
philosophy on numbers, 98 ; taxed 
by Aristotle, 143 

Demosthenes, his reply to Aeschines, 
13 ; counsel to the Athenians, 18; 
prepared beforehand prefaces for 
his orations, 128; his examples of 
eloquence, 146; cares more for 
eloquence than for praise, 154; 
rallied by Philocrates, 178; 
exhorts men to govern circum- 
stances, 19 8 

Dendamis the Indian, 210 
Diagoras the atheist, his wise reply, 

Diascordium, 115 

Differences, the object of meta- 
physics, 94 

Diogenes, his defence of philosophers, 
22 ; interview with Alexander, 49 ; 
on self-restraint, 158 
Dionysius had his ears in his feet, 22 ; 

speech about philosophy, 2 7 
Dionysius the Areopagite, 37 
Direction (or guidance), the chief 
help to learning, 61 
Divination, 118 

Divines have objected to learning, 4 
Divinity, briefly discussed, 209; 
two chief parts, 213; four main 
branches thereof, 219 
Domitian’s dream, 44 
Donius, 105 

Doubt and suspension of judgment 
wholesome, 34 ; should always 
be registered, 102 

Dreams, exposition of, the only true 
part of prtznotion , 1 07 
Drusus, commended by Tiberius, 190 
Du-Bartas on flattery, 21 
Duty, the good of man as regards 
society, 163 

Eccentrics and epicycles, 104 
Ecclesiastical History, too credulous, 
28; a great teacher, 70; its 
divisions, So 

Eden, man’s labour in, 37 
Education, honourable and import- 
ant, 16; of youth, affects the 
character, 152 

Egypt, a most learned land, 38; 
why so few human figures in her 
temples, 123 

Egyptian priest’s judgment on the 
Greeks, 38; hieroglyphics, 137 
Elenchs, a method of judgment, 198 ; 
can be used to guard against 
metaphorical ambiguities, 131 
Elizabeth, Queen, and King James I., 
are Castor and Pollux ,15; a most 
learned princess, 47; the glories 
and dangers of her reign, 48; her 
good government seen in its last- 
ing effects, 61 ; her masculine rule, 

Elogies, barren, 77 
Eloquence, desired above sense, 24 ; 
not to be condemned, 25 ; based 
on imagination, 121 
Emblem, one of the foundations on 
which memory rests, 136 
Empedocles, 103 

Empirics, in physic, 10; in state- 
craft, ib. 

England, history of, during Tudor 
period, 75, 76 

Enoch, the first contemplative 
person, endowed the Church with 
prophecy, 157 

Enquiry, power of wise, is the half of 
knowledge, 129 

Epaminondas, general and scholar, 9 
Epictetus’ philosophy censured, 158; 
his precept on self-government, 

Epicurus, his manner of death, 114; 
thought the gods to be of human 
shape, 133; wherein his school 
placed happiness, 157; held that 
virtue had much to do with it, 161 
Epitomes, the moths of history, 74 
Erasmus’ colloquy of Juvenis and 
Echo, 24 

Essays are ruminated history, 78 
Ethics, how divided, 154 
Euclid, 30; his propositions seem 
strange till proven, 32 
Euthanasia, much desired, 114 
Evil, knowledge of, necessary, 165; 

arts, precepts of, 203 
Exercises at the Universities very 
defective, 66 

Experimental philosophy, 100 
Exstatic visions, etc., 119 
Extremes to be avoided, 31 


Ezekiel on Pharaoh’s arrogance, 187 

“Faber quisque fortunes suez,” 187, 188 
Fabius Maximus would have carried 
on his policy too long, 197 
Fable of Ixion, 12 ; of the giants, 84; 
of Jupiter attacked by the Gods, 
ib.; of the bringing up of Achilles, 
ib. ; expounded, *5.; of the horse- 
leeches, 184; of the frogs, 202; 
invented as substitutes for histori- 
cal examples, 280 
“ Facta non verba ,” 183 
Faith, its objects, 219 
Fall of Man, 37, 1 77 ; of angels, ib. 
Fallacies, 13 1, 132 
Falsity in substance a great fault, 
25 sqq. 

Fame, why created, 84 
Fantastical learning, 23 
Fascination, 119 

Fasting, retained under the Gospel, 

Felicity, what it is, determined by 
Christianity, 158 

Final causes, their study misplaced 
and misdirected, 96 
Fire, how generated in the West 
Indies, 123 

Flattery, its grossness, 21; some 
instances of it, 1-3, 61, 206, 208; 
must be fine, if it is to succeed, 185 
Forms, essential, their discovery the 
object of metaphysics, 94 
Forms of substances are infinite, 94 
Formulae, or set passages, fit for 
different subjects in rhetoric, 150 
Fortune, good, hard to be borne 
wisely, 170; men can fashion it, 
187; may be too much despised, 
ib.; rules for making one’s, 188 
sqq.; not an end worthy of man’s 
being, ib.; falls into some men’s 
laps, 202 
Fracastorius, 105 
Friends, caution in choosing, 184 
Frivolous learning, 23 
Fulfilments of prophecy, gradual, 80 
Fundamental truths, 213 

Galen and final causes, 97 
Gallus, 190 

Games, a part of civil life, 117 
Geometry, 99 

Germanicus and Drusus, 190 
Gestures stand instead of speech, 137 
Gilbert, on the magnet, 33; revived 
the views of Xenophanes, 105 
God, His secret things not to be 

2 37 

reached by the senses, 6; His 
word and His work both to be 
studied, 7 ; His power and wisdom, 
36 ; His providence not impeached, 

; 98 ; to be imitated in His goodness 

and love, 177; His providence 
controls and changes evil counsels, 

: 204 ; demands one- tenth of our 

substance, and one-seventh of our 
time, ib. ; sees all things clearly, 

i Godliness ranks before fortune, 205 
' Gold, the attempt to make it has 
caused many inventions, 30 
j Gonsalvo’s speech to his soldiers, 158 
Good, nature of, 154; is either pri- 
! vate or relative, 156; active or 
passive, 159; that of the mind and 
j that of the body are analogous, 178 

[ Good-nature and its contrary, 169 
Gordianus the younger, xi 
Government, carried on by acting 
on men’s affections, 172 ; moves 
slowly, 179 ; a secret part of know- 
ledge, 205 ; of the Church, 220 
Grammar, produced by the require- 
ments of speech, 138 
Greece and Rome, exemplar states, 

Gregory, St., his hostility against 
learning, 40 ; his prayers for 
Trajan’s soul, 45 

Guise, Henry, Duke of, his ambition, 

Habituation, discussed, 173; pre- 
cepts for, 174 sqq. 

Hannibal thought little of Phormio’s 
views on war, 163 
Happiness, its nature, etc., deter- 
mined by Christianity, 157; not to 
be so pursued as to destroy mag- 
nanimity, 162 

Heathenism has no fixed belief, 210; 

is like an idol, soulless, 219 
Heliogabalus, 47 
Henry VII., reign of, 76 
Henry VIII., reign of, 76 
Hephsestion, Alexander’s friend, 51 
Heraclitus, the profound, 7; his 
censure of intellectualists, 33 
Hercules despised Adonis’ image, 25 ; 

his pillars, 61 
Heresies, 221 

Herillus, wherein he placed happi- 
ness, 157 

Hermes Trismegistus, 3 
Hermogenes, the rhetorician, 24 
Herodicus and Aristotle, 158 



Heteroclites, or irregulars of nature, 

Hieroglyphics, 83, 137 
Hippocrates, 30; treated of pre- 
notion, 106; kept notes of cases, 
112; his aphorism on serious 
illness, 167 

Historians and poets have best 
treated of the affections, 172 
History, related to memory, 69; 
divisions of, ib.; of learning, 
deficient, ib.; civil, 73; perfect, 
74; modern, 74, 75; antiquities 
of, ib.; of England, Tudor period, 
75,76; ruminated, 79 ; ecclesiasti- 
cal, how divided, 80 ; appendices 
to, 81; true, as compared with 
feigned (or poetry), 82 
Holy Spirit, expressed by the gift of 
tongues, 40; sin against, 219 
Homer’s Iliad , viii. 19; alluded to, 8; 
how estimated by Alexander, 48; 
has given a living to many, 58 ; his 
fame more lasting than that of 
conquerors, 59 ; a kind of scripture 
to the later Greeks, 84 
Hope, the portion of all who under- 
take great things, 51 
Horse-leeches, fable of the, 184 
Hortensius, the orator, 194 
Human philosophy, or self-know- 
ledge, 105 ; or humanity, 106 ; its 
divisions, ib. 

Humility, needed, but avoided, in 
things divine and human, 125 

Idolatry, 221 

“ Idols” of the mind, 132; of the 
tribe, ib.; of the cave, 133; of the 
market-place, 134 

Images, how supposed to affect 
worshippers, 120 

Imagination, how it affects the body, 
108; its power, 119; hath two 
faces towards reason and action, 
120; in religion is above reason, 
ib.; affects judgment, 132 
Immortality, 59 
Imposture akin to credulity, 28 
impression, a part of the sympathy 
between body and mind, 107 
Induction, as in use, cannot discover 
arts, 124; natural answers better, 
125 ; how judgment is applied to 
it, 129 

Inquisitiveness, 28 
Insight into men’s characters needful 
to him who would make his 
fortune, 189 

Inspiration, 213 
Instinct of animals, 124 
Invention of arts, 122; of speech, 
127; placed after judgment by 
the schoolmen, ib.; art of it ex- 
pands with it, 129 
Inventors, honoured by God before 
the flood, 38; deified by the 
ancients, 123 

Italians, suspicious of kind deeds, 190 
Ixion, fable of, 12; interpreted, 100 

James, St., quoted, 193 
James I., his praises, 1-3, 61, 206, 
208 ; his sentiment as to gestures, 
107; on a king’s duty, 164; on 
the true law of free monarchies, ib. 
Jason, the Thessalian, 54 ; his judg- 
ment on doing evil to bring about 
good, 166 

Jesuits, their wisdom in education, 
17; have promoted learning, 41 
Jeweller’s skill, 162 
Job’s question to his friends, 7; his 
learning, 39 
Journals in history, 78 
Judge, a corrupt better than a facile, 

Judgment, acts of, 129 ; defined, 130; 
methods of, 131; affected by the 
imagination, 132 

Julian the emperor, interdicted 
Christians from learning, 40; his 
book entitled Ccssares , 47 
Jupiter, planet of civil society and 
action, 35 ; his chain, 89 
Justinian, uliimus Romanorum, 75 

Kindness, sometimes assumed, 190 
Kings, to be regarded reverently, 20 ; 
if learned, are best, 43 ; their duty, 
according to James I., 164 
Knowledge, only remembrance, 
according to Plato, 1; St. Paul 
warns against misuse, 4; bounds 
and limitations, 6 ; does not lead 
to atheism, 7; its strength, 26; 
hindrances to its growth, 31-36; 
mistakes as to the ends of, 34; ‘its 
true end, 35; should produce 
fruit, ib.; “ a little knowledge is 
a dangerous thing,” whence this 
saying comes to be attributed to 
Bacon, 55; it never palls, 58; 
seems immortal, even to atheists, 
59; is as a pyramid, 96; has three 
stages, 96; of ourselves, 105; is 
continuous and entire, ib . ; is 
pabulum animi , but still distaste- 

Index 239 

ful to the. carnal mind, 121; 
rational, 122; arts for attaining 
thereto are four, 122 sqq. 

Lselius, 1 81 

Languages, their study revived at 
the Reformation, 23; are vehicula 
sciential, 40 

Laws of England, 207; hitherto 
handled only by philosophers or 
lawyers, not by statesmen, 206; 
how to be treated, 207 ; of nature, 
moral and positive, 219 
Lawyers write of law as it is, not as 
it should be, 206 

Learned men, their manners not 
necessarily rude, 17, 18; • apt to 
fix too high a standard, 18; their 
follies, 22 sqq.; to be cherished 
in a state, 62 

Learning, flourishes best in company 
with arms, 10; of use to statesmen, 
- ib.; does not cause sloth, 12; nor 
lessen respect for law, 13; not 
really discredited by learned 
clowns, ib.; teaches men their 
smallness, 19; its peccant humours, 
31-36; pursued for mean ends, 34 ; 
is acquired knowledge, 36; its 
dignity, 36 sqq.; cherished by the 
Church, 40; helps faith, 41; seats 
of, are faulty in several respects, 
63 sqq . ; distribution of, 69 ; three 
periods of, Greek, Roman, and 
i6tb-i7th century, 207; divine, 

Lectures, but ill provided for in 
places of learning, 64 
Legends, too readily believed in the 
Church, 28 

Leprosy, the law respecting, 38 
Letters, like ships, carry wealth 
from age to age, 59; most useful 
to teach wisdom of business, 186 
Levant, the, 20 
I ex Papia , 31 

Libraries, shrines of true saints, 63 
Life, how to be prolonged, 101 
Light, first created, 37 ; of nature, an 
insufficient guide, 209, 210; used 
in two senses, 210 

Liturgy or service, a part of 
divinity, 220 

Livy, best of historians, 14; makes 
but little of Alexander, 32; his 
dictum on behaviour, 180; judg- 
ment on Cato the censor, 187, 197 
Lodestone, why does it attract iron? 
156; has only a limited power, ib. 

Logic (and Rhetoric) too early 
studied at the universities, 66 ; 
discusses things in notion, but 
confusedly, 86; does not profess 
to invent sciences, 123 ; the syllo- 
gism, what, 126; compared with 
Rhetoric, 148 
Longanimity, 169 
Love, the bond of all virtues, 177 
Lucian, on the Stoic and the lap-dog, 
21 ; his objection to the gods, who 
begat no children in his day, 31 
Lucretius (quoted), 58 
Lully, Raymond, his false method, 

Luther awakened all antiquity to 
help him, 23 

Lysander on the art of deceit, 203 

Machiavelli on the poverty of the 
friars, 15; interprets the fable of 
Achilles and Chiron, 84; on the 
means of preserving governments, 
87; writes what is valuable as a 
warning, 165; on questions of 
policy shuts his eyes to moral good 
and evil, 175 ; his form and sub- 
ject of writing the best for civil 
prudence, 186; his note on the 
policy of Fabius Maximus, 197; 
on money as the “ sinews of war,” 
200; his precept as to the disadvan- 
tage of virtue, etc., 203 
Magic, Natural, 119; related to 
imaginationrather thanreason,29 ; 
has a noble aim, 30 ; Persian, what 
it was, 86; its true sense, 90; 
present degradation 100 
Magnanimity, 169 

Mahomet’s law regarding diet, 107; 
interdicts all argument and use of 
reason, 21 1 

Man, a microcosm, 88, 109 
Manichaean heresy, 107 
Manners [mores) in divinity, 219 
Mariner’s compass, 102, 122 
Master of the sentences, 214 
Mathematique, 98; handmaid to 
many sciences, 99 

Medicine, science of, apt to be too 
empirical, 106; discussed, 109; 
its uncertainty gives room for 
imposture, no; analogous to 
morality in order of its investiga- 
tions, 1 71 

Memorials, or history unfinished, 73 
Memory, art of, 135 
Menander on love, 177 
Menenius Agrippa, fable of, 64 



Mental philosophy, how divided, 117 
Metaphysique, used in a different 
sense from its ordinary acceptation, 
91; how limited, 92, 93; distin- 
guished from physics, 93; its 
functions, 94; abridges the multi- 
tude of particulars, 95 ; enfranchises 
man’s powers, 96 

Metellus, how addressed by Caesar, 53 
Method, a hindrance to learning, 32 
Method of tradition of arts, 140 ; its 
place in logic, ib . ; of probation, ib . ; 
enigmatical, 141; compared with 
aphorisms, ib., 142; varies accord- 
ing to different subjects, 143; 
useful in limiting propositions, 
144; a false kind of, 145 
Microcosm, man said to be a, 88, 109 
Midas’ judgment, 60 
Mind, its nature, 117; functions, 
120; is naturally full of super- 
stition and imposture, 132; 
Georgies of the, 154 
Mirabilaries, 71 

Miracles, 71 ; not wrought for 
atheists, but for the idolatrous 
and superstitious, 88 
Misitheus, a pedant, ruled wisely, n 
Mithridatum, 115 

Modern History, 74 ; times are truly 
the most ancient, 31 
Momus, wanted a window to look 
into men’s hearts, 185 
Monastic life, not good unless joined 
with action, 157 

Money, 138; not the “sinews of 
war,” 200; its value for advance- 
ment, ib . 

Monodica, many things in nature are 
such, 133 
Monstrosities, 70 

Moral Philosophy, 116 sqq.; a 
handmaid to divinity, 167; must 
consider what is possible, 167; 
characters must be studied by it, 
168; should take note of age, sex, 
etc., 169, 170 

Moses, a learned man, 38; on the 
mount, 157; a pattern for con- 
troversialists, 213; his law 
regulated questions of diet, etc., 

Moss, 39 

Mountebanks, preferred to physi- 
cians, no 

Music, 162; cadences in, 87 
Musician, the, who held the soul to 
be a harmony, 33 

Mutianus, overreached Antonius, 

191; his character in Tacitus, 

Mysteries, 83 

Naples, Gonsalvo at, 158 
Narrations of particular actions 
(monographs), 78 

Narrowness of mind a hindrance to 
learning, 33 

Natural History, 70; philosophy is 
of the mine and furnace, 90 ; how 
subdivided, 91; magic, ib.; pru- 
dence, what, 100 

Nature, book of God’s works, 8, 41; 
helps us to understand the Scrip- 
tures, id.; how divided, 93; her 
summary law, 91 ; refuses to be 
enchained by syllogism, 126; light 
of, insufficient, 209, 210; used in 
two senses, 210 

Negociation, part of civil prudence, 

Nero, in his minority governed by 
Seneca, n, 19 

Nerva, a good and learned prince, 


Nicodemus, his error, 212 
Novelty, to be avoided in extremes, 
31; not to be distrusted, ib. 
Nuncio, the advice of a papal, 192 

Olympian games, 117 
Orations, appendices to history, 81 
Orators, compared with sophists, 
1 31 ; stir the passions of republics, 
as the wind the sea, 171 
Organs, of sense and reflection akin, 
87; of the body, are they seats 
of corresponding mental faculties? 

Orpheus’ theatre, 43 
Ortelius of Antwerp, 145 
Osorius, his “ watery vein,” 24 
Ostensive reduction, 130 
Ostentation, a fault of manners, 195 
Ottomans, the Sultan of the, 103 

Papia Lex , 31 

Paracelsus’ philosophy reduced by 
Severinus, 105 ; held that man is 
a microcosm, 109; exalted the 
imagination, 119; views of his 
school on theology, 216 
Paris, judgment of, 60 
Parmenides, 103 ; his speculation as 
to the ultimate unity of all things, 

Parmenio’s advice to Alexander, 50, 


Particulars, pursuit of, a hindrance 
to learning, 32 

Paul, St., a learned man, 40; wished 
himself anathema for his brethren, 
156; judgment on the Cretans, 
170; his wisdom, 212 
“ Pedantes,” successful as governors, 
10; styled the “ apes of tyranny/’ 


Pedantical knowledge, 150, 151 
Percennius and Vibulenus, 152 
Periander’s advice as to the pre- 
serving a tyranny, 137 
Persian magic, 87 

Phalynus, brought Artaxerxes* mes- 
sage to the Greeks, 54 
Pharaoh’s arrogance, 187 
Philip of Macedon, 45 
Philo- Judaeus, on knowledge, 7 
Philocrates, 178 
Philopoemen, 75 

Philosophers too cautionary in their 
precepts, 161 ; not wise writers on 
laws, 206 

Philosophia prima, 32, 85; its 

character not satisfactory, 86; 
defined, ib. 

Philosophy, mental, tends towards 
degeneracy, 30 ; related to reason, 
69; threefold, 85; divine, 88; 
ancient, to be investigated, 104; 
not to be treated as a profession, 
158; moral, 166 sqq.; what part 
is in our power, 167 
Phocion’s obstinacy, 12 
Phormio’s theory of wars, 163 
Physicians, if wise, will consider the 
effect of mind on body, 108; must 
not despair of cure, 114; must 
endeavour to lessen pain, ib. 
Physics, distinguished from meta- 
physics, 93; limited to the 
material, 96 

Physiognomy, the only sound part 
of prediction , 107 
Pindar on sudden fortune, 170 
Pius Quintus, n 

Places of learning to be helped by 
the state, 62 

Plato, 30, 38 ; his doctrine of remem- 
brance, 1; would not bear office, 
18; on Socrates, 21; adorned 
philosophy with his eloquence, 25 ; 
mixed philosophy with theology, 
33, 97; held that kings should be 
philosophers, or philosophers kings, 
43; derides men’s contempt for 
common things, 72; held that 
forms are the true objects of know- 


ledge, 94; his speculation as to 
the ultimate unity of all things, 96; 
makes too much of final causes, 97; 
on. the feats of the different facul- 
ties in the body, 109; commends 
middle propositions in sciences, as 
fruitful, 123 ; his induction vicious, 
124, 125; saw the advantage of 
well-directed enquiry, 129 ; why 
he introduced Socrates and the 
sophists, 1 31; his supposition of 
the cave, 134; despised rhetoric, 
147 ; his saying as to the beauty of 
virtue, ib. 

Platonists mix philosophy with 
mathematics, 33 

Plautus, marvels at beneficence in 
old age, 170; (quoted), 187 

Pleasure, how related to happiness, 

Pliny , too credulous, 29; saved the 
Christians from persecution, 45; 
his panegyric, 176 

Plutarch, adorned philosophy with 
his eloquence, 25; has fagotted 
together the ancient philosophies 
unsatisfactorily, 104 

Poesy related to imagination, 69, 
121; is feigned history, 82; com- 
pared with history, ib.; its effects 
even on barbarians, ib.; its divi- 
sions, 83; fables of, have they an 
inward meaning? 85; regarded as 
to its form, 139; called vinum 
dcemonum by one of the fathers, 

Poets and historians have best 
handled the affections, 172 

Politicians, why they object to 
learning, 8; the corrupt sort of 
them seek only their own gain, 

Pompey, his saying when charged 
with the relief of Rome from 
famine, 156; wisely burned Ser- 
torius’ papers, 182 ; the only great 
captain when Caesar began his 
career of war, 194 ; erred in follow- 
ing Sylla’s example too far, ib.; 
damaged himself by closeness, 199 

Positive precepts of law and theology, 

Poverty, its praises fit subject for 
friars, 15; honoured in the best 
days of Rome, ib.; “ paupertas 
virtutis fortuna,” ib. 

Power, varies according to the de- 
gree and position of the governed, 



Preaching, fostered by the Reforma- 
tion, 24 

Predicaments, their use, 132 
Prediction and prenotion, arts refer- 
ring to the connection between 
body and mind, 106 
Prenotion, foundation to the art of 
memory, 136 

Priesthood, of weight in empire, 58 
Princes, best seen into by watching 
their natures, 192 
Proclus and the Platonists, 33 
Prometheus, his inventions, 123 
Promus and condus in Roman house- 
keeping, 159 

Prophecy, is divine history, 69, 80 
Proteus, 73 

Proverb (Spanish), 191; (Italian), 192 
Providence, history of, 80 
Proxenus, Xenophon’s friend, 54 
Pygmalion’s frenzy, 25 
Pythagoras based his philosophy on 
numbers, 98; his praise of a con- 
templative life, 157 
Pythagorean superstitions as to diet, 
etc., 107 

Quickness of dispatch most useful 
for rising in the world, 183 
Quirites, 52 

Rabbins, their labours in the law, 38 ; 
their interpretations to be re- 
strained, 217 
“ Ragioni di stato ,” 1 x 
Ramus did well in reviving the rules 
of propositions, 144 
Raven, the, his instinct, 124 
Raymond, Lully, his false method, 

Readerships in sciences, 64 
Reason, subordinate to divine truth, 
89 ; not yet enough enquired into, 


Reduction in logic, of two kinds, 
ostensive and ad absurdum, 130 
Reformation, the, awakened learning 
and a classical style, 23, 41 
Registers, 73 
Religion, 107 

Remedies, much confused, 115 
Republics, stirred by any wind, 171 
Revelation, 209, 210 
Reverence, a hindrance to learning, 

Rewards, a help to learning, 61 
Rhetoric, 66; separated from philo- 
sophy by Socrates, 106; engaged 
on imaginative reason, 12 1; re- 

quires store of places ,(or topics ), 
128 ; discussed at length, 146; 
defined, ib . ; despised by Plato, 
ib. ; helps to keep the passions in 
order, 148; compared with logic, 
ib.; Aristotle’s treatise thereon 
discusses the affections, 171 
Rhetorical surprises, 87 
Romans, the, were professors of a 
wisdom of business, 181; their 
wisest men used to walk in the 
forum giving advice to their fel- 
low citizens, ib. 

Rome and Greece, the two exemplar 
states, 75 ; under the six kings she 
prepared for her greatness, 15 1 
Romulus, 75 

Sallust, on royal fancies, 170; 
censures Pompey’s reserved and 
dark ways, 199 
Samuel, 125 

Saracens, foes to learning, 41 
Sarah, an image of natural reason, 

Saturn, planet of rest, 35 
Saviour, our, the great physician, 
1 12; commends rhetorical prepa- 
ration, 128 

Sayings, or brief speeches, appen- 
dices to history, 81 
Scale or ladder of knowledge, 91 
Sceptic philosophers had good 
grounds for becoming such, 126 
Schoolmasters held in little honour, 

Schoolmen, rudeness of their style, 
24; held in contempt, ib.; their 
degenerate or “ vermiculate ” 
learning, 26; their useless sub- 
tilty, ib.; drew from their own 
minds, not from nature, 27 ; their 
voluminous writings, 214 
Scornful, the, will not receive 
correction, 185 

Scotland, history of, ill handled, 75 
Scriptures, the, a well of life, 214; 
how interpreted, ib . ; plentifully 
expounded in England, 218 
Sculptor, the, compared with Nature, 

Scylla, a type of scholastic learning, 

Self-advancement, rules for, 188 sqq. 
Seneca governed wisely during 
Nero’s minority, xi, 19; on weak- 
ness of character, 13; adorned 
philosophy with eloquence, 25 ; 
his subtilty of mind, 26; com- 


pares fallacies to juggling tricks, 

1 31; condemns eloquence for 
display, 154; feigned too high an 
elevation for man’s nature, 155 ; 
complains that men care little for 
reformation of manners, 167 
Seraphim, angels of love, 37 
Sermons in King James I.’s time, 218 
Serpent, his nature, 165 
Sertorius’ papers burnt by Pompey, 

Seven Sages, their sayings akin to 
poesy parabolical, 83 
Severinus the Dane, 105 
Severus (Septimius), 204 
Sextus Quintus, 11 
Sibyl, the, selling her books, 198 
Sin, its divisions, 220 
Sisyphus, his offence of futility, 206 
Sleep, the gates of, 178 
Sloth, its drawbacks, 183 
Small things best discover great, 72 
Socrates, accused of corrupting J 
youth, 9; reaction in his favour 
when dead, 14; his ugliness and 
goodness, 21; his irony, 34, 1265 
called philosophy down from 
heaven, 35 ; his reply to Hippias, 
72 ; charged with separating 
philosophy and rhetoric, 106; his 
method of refutation, 131 ; where- 
in he placed true felicity, 157; 
disputes with a sophist, 161; 
quoted, 153, 165, 180, 212 
Solomon, his learning, 39; his 
aphorisms on civil wisdom, 182 

Solon’s Laws, their wisdom, 18; his 
just judgment as to Croesus’ 
wealth, 201 

Sophism is equivocation, 13 1 
Sophists compared with orators, 13 1 
Soul, nature of the, 118 
Spanish proverb, 191 
Speech, an organ of tradition, 136 
Spirits in divers ranks, 37 ; evil, not 
to be dealt with, 89 
Standing point for argument, men 
desire a, 130 

Statesmen, learned and experienced, 
compared, 43 

Stoics, their dogmas fitted to the 
fables of the poets by Chrysippus, 
84; their dispute with the Epi- 
cureans as to felicity settled by 
Christianity, 158; seem to have 
discussed the affections well, 172 
Sturmius studied Cicero and Hermo- 
genes, 24 


Suetonius not so credible as Tacitus, 

Suffering, when wise, overcomes 
difficulties, 168 
Summary law of Nature, 95 
“ Summum bonum the, not to be 
discussed by us, 155 
Superstitious narrations not always 
despicable, 71; divination, 1 18 
Sun, the, is never defiled, see what 
he may, 71 

Sylla, 1x9, 183; how judged by 
Caesar, 53; never condemned so 
many to die as physicians do in 
their ignorance, 114; a troubler 
of the world, 160; modest towards 
Fortune, styling himself Felix, not 
Magnus, 188; his assumed frank- 
ness, 199 

Syllogism, cannot invent arts, 126; 
Nature refuses to be enchained by 
it, ib . ; use of judgment in, 130 
Sympathies between body and mind 
discussed, 106 sqq . 

Tacitus, 109, 152; on the eloquence 
of Augustus, 2; his judgment on 
Nerva, 44; his annals, 78; his 
note on the retention of ancient 
terms and titles, 92 ; far more 
trustworthy than Suetonius, from 
the form of his nanrative, 104; on 
sudden prosperity, 170; observa- 
tion on Tiberius and Agrippina, 
19 1 ; on Tiberius* reserved man- 
ners, 194; his judgment on 
Mutianus, 195 ; on Pompey’s dark 
dealing, 199 ; on Livia, 200 
Talk, the common, is sometimes 
wiser than books, 167 
Tantalus, 206 

Tarquin buys the Sibyl’s books, 198 
Telesius, 105 

Tennis gives quick eye and body, 99 
Thales, 72 

Themistocles, his saying as to music 
and government, ’20 
Theology, how divisible, 69; dis- 
cussed briefly, 209 
Theseus, 75 

Thirty Tyrants, the, 14 
Thucydides on Cleon’s hatred of 
eloquence, 147 

Tiberius concealed his power at first, 
126; jealous of his heir, 183; 
closest of men, 190, 194; quarrels 
with Agrippina, 19 1 
Tigellinus intrigues against Tur- 
pilianus, 192 



Time, the author of authors, 30; 
devours his children, 31; as a 
river, sinks things weighty, and 
carries down what is light and 
worthless, 32 

Timotheus, the Athenian, 187 
Topics, not deficiently handled, 129 ; 
of two sorts, ib . ; the “ particular ” 
ones commended, 129 
Tradition of knowledge, faulty, and 
a hindrance to learning, 34; art 
of, 136 

Trajan, though not learned, a patron 
of learning, 44; nicknamed “ wall- 
flower ” by Constantine, 49 ; how 
praised by Pliny, 176 
Travels, much multiplied of late, 79 
Treacle, 115 
Tribonium, 215 
Trisagion of knowledge, 96 
Triumvirs, the, sold their friends to 
one another, 203 

Trust and distrust slowly, if you will 
make your fortune, 190 
Truth of being and of knowing are 
one, 27; demands much severity 
of investigation, 103, 104 
Tudor period of history, 75, 76 
Tumblers and rope-dancers can do 
with the body what “ memoria 
technica ” enables men to do with 
their minds, 136 

Turpilianus destroyed through Tigel- 
linus’ intrigues, 192 

Ulysses’ judgment, 60 
Union of England and Scotland, 76 
Universal propositions in sciences, 

Universities to be cherished, 62; 
teach logic and rhetoric to minds 
not stored with subject-matter, 66 ; 
their exercises faulty, 67 
Untruth in learning, 28 
Urbanity too much considered, 180 

Valentine, Duke (Cassar Borgia), 194 
Valour, false, lies in the eyes of its 
beholders, 13 

Varro, best of antiquaries, 14 
Velleius, the epicurean, 34; his 
question as to the ordering of stars 
by God, inconsistent with his 
principles, 133 

Verus, iElius (sc. Ceionius Corn- 
modus), patron of Martial, 46; 
L. Commodus (sc. Aurelius), a 
learned prince, ib. 

Vibulenus, 152 

Virgil prejudiced against learnings; 
best of poets, 14; quoted, 56; 
lines on Augustus, 57; got great 
glory by singing of humble 
matters, 154 

Virtue, not to be undervalued, 196; 

is rewarded, 204 
Visions, prophetic, 119 
Visitors of colleges, etc., neglectful, 


Vitality, how to be increased, 101 
Voluptuary arts flourish most in a 
decaying state, 117 
Vulcan, god of alchemists, 65, 90 

Whiteness, the causes of, 95 
Wisdom, an attribute of God, 36; 
three kinds of, in civil life, 179, 
181; true, compared with verbal, 
185; prudence, best drawn from 
history, 186; helps much towards 
self- advancement, 187 
Witchcraft, the height of idolatry, 

Women judge by fortune rather than 
excellence, 184 

Wonder, seed of knowledge, is broken 
knowledge, 5 
Word of God, the, 209 
Words, images of matter, 24; tokens 
of current notions of things, 126, 
138; apt to impose on us, 134; of 
others, not to be unnoted, if you 
will build your fortune, 19 1 
World, the, wrongly judged to be an 
image of God, 88 
Writing, art of, 135 

Xenophon, a general and scholar, 
9, 54; adorned philosophy with 
eloquence, 25; on the good effects 
of love, 1 77 

Young men not fit auditors of ques- 
tions of morals or policy, till their 
good habits are formed, 174 

Zeno, 157 

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